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Diabetologia. 2011 Aug;54(8):2016-24. doi: 10.1007/s00125-011-2128-2. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

No evidence of a higher 10 year period prevalence of diabetes among 77,885 twins compared with 215,264 singletons from the Danish birth cohorts 1910-1989.

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The Danish Twin Registry, Danish Aging Research Center, University of Southern Denmark, J. B. Winsløws Vej 9B, 5000 Odense C, Denmark.



Previous Danish twin studies have found a highly increased risk of precursors of type 2 diabetes as well as a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes among twins compared with singletons. Likewise, small-scale studies of Danish twins have shown that monozygotic twins have a higher risk of developing precursors of type 2 diabetes compared with dizygotic twins. In the present register-based study, the 10 year period diabetes prevalence in Danish twins is compared with that in a random sample of Danish citizens. Furthermore, the 10 year period prevalence of diabetes in monozygotic twins is compared with that in dizygotic twins.


The study population consisted of twins (n = 77,885) identified in the Danish Twin Registry, and a 5% random sample (n = 215,264) from the birth cohorts 1910-1989. We identified diabetes patients by means of three nationwide Danish health registers.


The number of identified diabetes cases among males was 6,677 (6.24%) for singletons vs 2,271 (5.68%) for twins (difference = 0.56% [0.29-0.83%]). The number among females was 6,143 (5.67%) for singletons and 1,722 (4.54%) for twins (difference = 1.13% [0.88-0.38%]). Restriction to various birth cohorts, known zygosity and known type 2 diabetes did not alter the overall conclusions. The difference between monozygotic twins (males, 5.29%; females, 4.40%) and dizygotic twins (males, 5.77%; females, 4.63%) was non-significant.


Danish twins do not have an increased risk of developing diabetes compared with singletons, and the risk of diabetes among monozygotic twins does not differ from that of dizygotic twins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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