, Volume 35, Issue 11, pp 1060-1067

First online:

Concordance for Type 1 (insulin-dependent) and Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus in a population-based cohort of twins in Finland

  • J. KaprioAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health, University of Helsinki
  • , J. TuomilehtoAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, National Public Health Institute
  • , M. KoskenvuoAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health, University of Turku
  • , K. RomanovAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health, University of Turku
  • , A. ReunanenAffiliated withResearch Institute for Social Security, Social Insurance Institution
  • , J. ErikssonAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Helsinki University Hospital
  • , J. StengårdAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, National Public Health Institute
  • , Y. A. KesäniemiAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, University of Oulu

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We studied the cumulative incidence, concordance rate and heritability for diabetes mellitus in a nationwide cohort of 13,888 Finnish twin pairs of the same sex. The twins were born before 1958 and both co-twins were alive in 1967. Data on diabetes were derived through computerized record linkage from death certificates, the National Hospital Discharge Register and the National Drug Register. Records were reviewed in order to assign a diagnostic category to the 738 diabetic patients identified. Of these patients 109 had Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes, 505 Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes, 46 gestational diabetes, 24 secondary diabetes, 38 impaired glucose tolerance and 16 remained unclassified. The cumulative incidence of diabetes was 1.4 % in men and 1.3 % in women aged 28–59 years and 9.3 % and 7.0 % in men and women aged 60 years and over, respectively. The cumulative incidence did not differ between monozygotic and dizygotic twins. The concordance rate for Type 1 diabetes was higher among monozygotic (23 % probandwise and 13 % pairwise) than dizygotic twins (5 % probandwise and 3 % pairwise). The probandwise and pairwise concordance rates for Type 2 diabetes were 34% and 20% among monozygotic tiwns and 16% and 9 % in dizygotic twins, respectively. Heritability for Type 1 diabetes was greater than that for Type 2 where both genetic and environmental effects seemed to play a significant role.

Key words

Diabetes mellitus twins prevalence concordance heritability