Objective: The aim of this study was to screen Omani individuals for the familial aggregation of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods: A random cohort of 1182 Omani individuals visiting the Family Medicine Clinic at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH), Muscat, Oman, for regular medical checkup, aged ≥40 years, were sampled. Patients were categorized into three groups: (1) individuals who claim not to have diabetes and had no family history of diabetes; (2) individuals who claim not to have diabetes but had family history of diabetes; (3) individuals with diabetes. Only 16% of these Omani individuals had no diabetes and no family history of diabetes. Another separate random cohort of 234 Omani type 2 diabetes mellitus patients, from the Diabetes Clinic at SQUH, were interviewed and questioned about their family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Results: Ninety five percent of the patients had a family history of diabetes. Eighty percent had first degree relatives with diabetes and 46% had second degree relatives with diabetes. At least one parent with diabetes was reported among 55% of these diabetics, while maternal diabetes (55%) was found to be higher than paternal diabetes (47%). However, only 15% had both parents with diabetes. Furthermore, almost half of the 234 diabetics were having at least one of the following relatives with diabetes: brother, sister, aunt or an uncle. Conclusion: The findings of this study confirm familial aggregation of diabetes among the Omani population. Compared to other populations, familial aggregation of type 2 diabetes mellitus among Omanis is relatively very high, and is perhaps due to the very high degree of consanguinity among Omanis. Since almost everyone seems to have a genetic predisposition to diabetes, the dramatic lifestyle changes over the past 25 years, could tip the population into an epidemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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