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Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 1997 Jan;76(1):F39-42.

Aetiopathology and genetic basis of neonatal diabetes.

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Institute of Child Health, St Michael's Hill, Bristol.


A British Paediatric Association Surveillance Unit* study of neonatal diabetes determined a national incidence of 1 in 400,000 live births. Additional cases of transient neonatal diabetes were collected retrospectively. Most cases were of low birthweight at term: none had evidence of an autoimmune aetiopathogenesis. The median requirement for exogenous insulin treatment was three months. A significant number of cases developed type 2 diabetes in later life. Three of the 11 cases were found to have paternal uniparental isodisomy of chromosome 6. A further patient carried an unbalanced duplication of 6q 22-23, inherited from the father, which localised a potentially imprinted gene for diabetes to this region. The fact that low birthweight predisposes to type 2 diabetes in later life is well established, but a genetic defect that may relate both to intrauterine growth failure and the development of type 2 diabetes in later life has now been identified.

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