Papers And Originals

Glucose Tolerance and Serum Insulin in Identical Twins of Diabetics

Br Med J 1970; 4 doi: (Published 12 December 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;4:649
  1. D. A. Pyke,
  2. J. Cassar,
  3. Janet Todd,
  4. K. W. Taylor


    Glucose tolerance with serum insulin assay has been carried out in 24 apparently unaffected identical twins of diabetics. Glucose values were significantly higher and insulin values significantly lower than in control subjects, but there was considerable individual variation and in half the cases glucose tolerance was normal. There was no case of increased insulin response. In these twins glucose tolerance and insulin response were not correlated with weight, family history of diabetes, age at diagnosis of diabetes in the affected twin, time since that diagnosis, nor with age at testing the unaffected twin. On retesting 12 of the twins after two years no significant differences were found from the first testing.

    We conclude that not all these twins are likely to develop diabetes, that the assumption that identical twins of diabetics are necessarily “prediabetic” is probably erroneous, and that factors other than genetic ones are important in the aetiology of diabetes.