Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on May 02, 2012
C. Ronald Kahn, MD - President / Director, Joslin Diabetes Center; Mary K Iacocca Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. His discoveries in insulin signals/receptors revolutionized diabetes research.
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C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. President and Director, Joslin Diabetes Center: We talk about type-one diabetes, which of course the insulin dependant kind, one of the questions I often get from women, especially women in the child bearing age, is, what is the risk that my child will have diabetes? And even sometimes, parents will say, or couples will say, well maybe we shouldn't have children because there's a risk of diabetes.
C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. President and Director, Joslin Diabetes Center: So the good news part is first of all, the risk is still very low, that the diabetes won't be passed on to a child, if you have type one diabetes. And the interesting aspect here is, that if the father has type one diabetes the risk of the child having type-one diabetes is about 7%. Not as low as the general population, but still not very high, less than one in ten. Something like one in fourteen. If the mother has type-one diabetes, the risk is only about two or two and a half percent. So the good news is for women with diabetes is A) They can have children and B) if the mother has type one diabetes, her risk of actually having a diabetic child is even lower than if the father has it.
C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. President and Director, Joslin Diabetes Center: In both cases what they should have is planned pregnancies. They should try to make sure their diabetes is in good control if the woman has diabetes. Because then you'll have normal healthy children. Normal healthy pregnancies, and have great outcomes.