Comparing Children with Type 2 and Their Parents with Type 2 Diabetes

By Alan L. Rubin

Children with type 2 diabetes have a parent with the condition 60 percent of the time and a parent or grandparent with diabetes 90 percent of the time. Children who have type 2 diabetes tend to be more difficult to manage if one or both parents also have type 2 diabetes.

Their average blood glucose tends to be higher. They tend to be heavier than if their parents don’t have diabetes. If their parents have high blood pressure, which is more common in diabetics, the children also have high blood pressure.

If their parents are depressed with diabetes, they tend to be depressed. If their parents are binge eaters, they tend to be binge eaters. Exactly why this is so is unclear. It may be due to environment, lifestyle, or genetic factors. It suggests, however, that in addressing the child’s diabetes, it’s important to focus on the parents and grandparents as well.