DOI: 10.1111/jmp.12695 ISSN: 0047-2565

An analysis of risk factors for spontaneously occurring type 2 diabetes mellitus in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

John P. Capitanio, Laura A. Del Rosso, JoAnn Yee, Marie‐Josee Marie‐France Lemoy
  • General Veterinary
  • Animal Science and Zoology



Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2D) is a chronic disease with a high prevalence worldwide. Human literature suggests factors beyond well‐known risk factors (e.g., age, body mass index) for T2D: cytomegalovirus serostatus, season of birth, maternal age, birth weight, and depression. Nothing is known, however, about whether these variables are influential in primate models of T2D.


Using a retrospective methodology, we identified 22 cases of spontaneously occurring T2D among rhesus monkeys at our facility. A control sample of n = 1199 was identified.


Animals born to mothers that were ≤5.5 years of age, and animals that showed heightened Activity and Emotionality in response to brief separation in infancy, had a greater risk for development of T2D in adulthood.


Knowledge of additional risk factors for T2D could help colony managers better identify at‐risk animals and enable diabetes researchers to select animals that might be more responsive to their manipulations.

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