Diabetes mellitus is characterizes by impared glucose metabolism due to inadequate insulin secretion or insulin resistance.
The prevalence of type 1 diabetes remained nearly constant in the past decades. But the frequency of type 2 diabetes is still increasing and it reached 10% in some developed countries. Environmental factors contribute a lot to the development of type 2 diabetes but it is obvious that hereditary factors contribute too. This is especially true for late omplications of diabetes. These complications are an increasing health problem. Diabetic retinopathy is a common reason for aquired blindness and about 50% of patients on dialysis are diabetics.
The type of diabetes has to be established first. In cases with not secure type 1 diabetes the possibility of MODY-diabetes should be checked. If this is not the case the estimation of molecular genetic risk factors can be considered.
Only in some few cases diabetes is caused by a monogenetic autosomal dominant form. In most cases diabetes is the result of a polygenetic disposition along with environmental influences. In these cases only risk factors can be defined by molecular testing.
Polyuria is an early symptom of diabetes mellitus. It is osmotic diuresis that results from poorly controled blood glucose.
Microalbuminuria is an early symptom of renal damage in diabetes mellitus. In severe diabetic nephropathy proteinuria can reach the nephrotic range.
Fajans SS et al. (2001) Molecular mechanisms and clinical pathophysiology of maturity-onset diabetes of the young.[^]
Horikawa Y et. al. (2000) Genetic variation in the gene encoding calpain-10 is associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus.[^]
Ek J et al. (2001) Studies of the Pro12Ala polymorphism of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma2 (PPAR-gamma2) gene in relation to insulin sensitivity among glucose tolerant caucasians.[^]