A lot of studies have showed an excess maternal transmission of type 2 diabetes (T2D). The aim, therefore, of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of familial history of T2D in Greek patients, and to evaluate its potential effect on the patient's metabolic control and the presence of diabetic complications.
A total of 1,473 T2D patients were recruited. Those with diabetic mothers, diabetic fathers, diabetic relatives other than parents and no known diabetic relatives, were considered separately.
The prevalence of diabetes in the mother, the father and relatives other than parents, was 27.7, 11.0 and 10.7%, respectively. Patients with paternal diabetes had a higher prevalence of hypertension (64.8 vs. 57.1%, P = 0.05) and lower LDL-cholesterol levels (115.12 ± 39.76 vs. 127.13 ± 46.53 mg/dl, P = 0.006) than patients with diabetes in the mother. Patients with familial diabetes were significantly younger (P < 0.001), with lower age at diabetes diagnosis (P < 0.001) than those without diabetic relatives. Patients with a diabetic parent had higher body mass index (BMI) (31.22 ± 5.87 vs. 30.67 ± 5.35 Kg/m2, P = 0.08), higher prevalence of dyslipidemia (49.8 vs. 44.6%, P = 0.06) and retinopathy (17.9 vs. 14.5%, P = 0.08) compared with patients with no diabetic relatives. No difference in the degree of metabolic control and the prevalence of chronic complications were observed.
The present study showed an excess maternal transmission of T2D in a sample of Greek diabetic patients. However, no different influence was found between maternal and paternal diabetes on the clinical characteristics of diabetic patients except for LDL-cholesterol levels and presence of hypertension. The presence of a family history of diabetes resulted to an early onset of the disease to the offspring.