Will my other children get diabetes? What’s the risk?

When I tell people I have two children with diabetes, I usually get the question “What’s the chances of that?” According to Trial Net, the general population risk for type 1 diabetes is 1 in 300. If you have a family member with type 1, the risk goes to 1 in 20.

Trial Net is a great study in many areas of the United States, along with a few other countries. Any siblings, as well as parents and a few other relatives, are eligible for antibody testing. Some families want to know if their children are at risk for diabetes, and others are so overwhelmed and do not want to worry about whether their other children might get diabetes.

A recently published study from the Benaroya Research Institute in Seattle found that though oral insulin didn’t prevent at risk kids from getting type 1, it did delay the progression by 31 months. The study looked at 560 children with positive antibodies. That’s another reason for finding out if siblings have antibodies. Yes, it would be great if it prevented diabetes, but even delaying it by 2 plus years sounds great.

We participated in the Trial Net study the summer after my son was diagnosed in 2006. We were all negative for antibodies. Sara was negative but she still developed diabetes that December. She is one of a rare group with negative antibodies.

Sara was barely 6 when she was diagnosed. It was so hard at that age and difficult to teach others to care for her. By delaying it by 31 months, she would have been almost 9. There is a big difference in what a 6 versus a 9 year old can do developmentally.

Has your family been screened yet? Comment below with your thoughts on screening!

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Author: Carol

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