Q: ”What effect does the baby’s father having diabetes have on the foetus?”
The causes of diabetes are not completely understood. From the research that has been done so far, it is clear that both type 1 diabetes (juvenile onset or insulin-dependent diabetes) and type 2 diabetes (adult onset or non-insulin-dependent) are caused by a combination of factors. Diabetes does not usually occur as a result of a single gene. Instead, it is a complicated combination of genetic and environmental factors that result in an individual developing the condition. Genes can be inherited from either parent, which can either make the individual susceptible to the disease, or render them protected from it. However, many people who have genes which render them susceptible will not actually go on to develop the disease. So if a baby’s father has diabetes, he may pass on a gene for susceptibility to diabetes to the baby (in the same way that a mother might), but whether the baby will develop diabetes at any stage of his or her life is currently impossible to predict.
Dr Jo Lee, Babyworld Doctor.