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What is maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY)?

Oct 26, 2010

MODY is a monogenic form of diabetes that usually first occurs during adolescence or early adulthood. However, MODY sometimes remains undiagnosed until later in life. A number of different gene mutations have been shown to cause MODY, all of which limit the ability of…

the pancreas to produce insulin. This process leads to the high blood glucose levels characteristic of diabetes and, in time, may damage body tissues, particularly the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels. MODY accounts for about 1 to 5 percent of all cases of diabetes in the United States. Family members of people with MODY are at greatly increased risk for the condition.


Each child of a parent with MODY has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the disease.

People with MODY may have only mild or no symptoms of diabetes and their hyperglycemia may only be discovered during routine blood tests. MODY may be confused with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. People with MODY are generally not overweight and do not have other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as high blood pressure or abnormal blood fat levels. While both type 2 diabetes and MODY can run in families, people with MODY typically have a family history of diabetes in multiple successive generations, meaning that MODY is present in a grandparent, a parent, and a child. Unlike people with type 1 diabetes who always require insulin, people with MODY can often be treated with oral diabetes medications. Treatment varies depending on the genetic mutation that has caused the MODY.


Other articles in Special Edition: Uncommon Diabetes Diagnoses:

What is Monogenic Diabetes? Many times misdiagnosed!

Case Study: Lilly Jaffe

What is neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM)?

What to know about genetic testing and counseling

Hope through Research