Aims/hypothesis: Previous Danish twin studies have found a highly increased risk of precursors of type 2 diabetes as well as a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes among twins compared with singletons. Likewise, small-scale studies of Danish twins have shown that monozygotic twins have a higher risk of developing precursors of type 2 diabetes compared with dizygotic twins. In the present register-based study, the 10 year period diabetes prevalence in Danish twins is compared with that in a random sample of Danish citizens. Furthermore, the 10 year period prevalence of diabetes in monozygotic twins is compared with that in dizygotic twins.
Methods: The study population consisted of twins (n = 77,885) identified in the Danish Twin Registry, and a 5% random sample (n = 215,264) from the birth cohorts 1910-1989. We identified diabetes patients by means of three nationwide Danish health registers.
Results: The number of identified diabetes cases among males was 6,677 (6.24%) for singletons vs 2,271 (5.68%) for twins (difference = 0.56% [0.29-0.83%]). The number among females was 6,143 (5.67%) for singletons and 1,722 (4.54%) for twins (difference = 1.13% [0.88-0.38%]). Restriction to various birth cohorts, known zygosity and known type 2 diabetes did not alter the overall conclusions. The difference between monozygotic twins (males, 5.29%; females, 4.40%) and dizygotic twins (males, 5.77%; females, 4.63%) was non-significant.
Conclusions/interpretation: Danish twins do not have an increased risk of developing diabetes compared with singletons, and the risk of diabetes among monozygotic twins does not differ from that of dizygotic twins.