Familial aggregation of diabetes mellitus has been recognized for centuries; yet the exact contribution of genetic factors to the cause of the disease remains unclear.1 Studies based on clinical histories and questionnaires clearly demonstrate an increased prevalence of a positive family history for patients with over those without diabetes. Moreover, numerous studies, using both clinical and glucose tolerance testing criteria, have confirmed an increased prevalence of diabetes or abnormal glucose tolerance in specified relatives of patients over similar relatives of controls. Either genetic or environmental factors (or both), however, may be responsible for familial aggregation of a disease. In an.
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