Family resemblance for fasting blood glucose in a population of Japanese Americans

W. R. Williams, N. E. Morton, D. C. Rao, C. L. Gulbrandsen, G. G. Rhoads, A. Kagan

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11 Scopus citations


The pattern of inheritance of fasting blood glucose was examined in a Japanese cohort of 500 nuclear families living in Hawaii. A principal component of glucose was defined to improve the ranking of diabetics and individuals receiving treatment (medication and/or diet) for hyperglycemia, thereby allowing as well as possible for inability to determine untreated levels in patients. Results from path and segregation analysis show that family resemblance for glucose is low in this population. The additive variation can be explained by a cultural model of inheritance without introducing intergenerational differences, a maternal‐paternal effect, or even genetic parameters. Heritability is approximately 0.125. Complex segregation analysis provides no convincing evidence for a major gene, with preliminary support based upon leptokurtic outliers in five families disappearing on further analysis by partial truncation. A claim by other workers of a major recessive gene for hyperglycemia may be due to their failure to allow for treatment, skewness, and multifactorial heritability. In future, the search for major loci acting on liability to hyperglycemia should use multiple determinations of fasting glucose or be addressed to more primary and repeatable variables than fasting blood glucose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-293
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1983


  • Glucose
  • mixed model
  • path analysis


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