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To determine whether a maternal antecedent with diabetes has an effect on insulin resistance syndrome parameters.We studied 352 Algonquin Indians from Quebec aged at least 15 years who had no personal antecedents with diabetes. Data concerned clinical and biological parameters and the parental antecedents with diabetes.For subjects over greater than 30 years, fasting insulin and cholesterol levels were significantly higher in the group with a maternal history of diabetes than in the group with a paternal history. Significant differences were observed for serum triglyceride, BMI, and subscapular skinfold thickness when comparing subjects with a maternal history and those with no parental history of diabetes. Blood pressure and fasting glucose did not differ according to parental history.Subjects of maternal antecedents with diabetes have known risk factors for NIDDM. This study does not identify whether there is a genetic or maternal environmental reason for this association.