In most people who develop diabetes there is a hereditary (genetic) component. However, in nearly all cases the genetic component alone does not cause the diabetes, but interactions with the environment of a person who is genetically susceptible. This is clearly demonstrated by the epidemic of diabetes worldwide. The dramatic increase in figures clearly cannot be accounted for by genetic factors. However, without the genetic susceptibility modern lifestyle changes would have no fertile field on which to exert their dangerous influences. The present article concentrates on this genetic susceptibility of diabetes. It focuses on the single-gene disorders leading to Type 2 diabetes and the hunt for genes in the more common forms of Type 2 diabetes. There are also some lessons to be learnt from a type of diabetes seen mainly in 'tropical countries' – fibrocalculous pancreatic diabetes (FCPD).
Genetics, Genes, MODY, Maturity onset diabetes of the young, Fibrocalculous pancreatic diabetes, FCPD