Summary: In Europid populations, patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) are more than twice as likely to have a mother than a father with diabetes. We have examined this aspect in an Australian population. For this purpose records of 1,000 consecutive patients with NIDDM were reviewed. A history of diabetes was present in 193 mothers (19.3%) and in only 86 fathers (8.6%) (p<0.0001). The predominance of a maternal history of diabetes in patients with NIDDM is suggestive of a maternal transmission of this disorder. This metabolic tendency may develop due to an adverse intrauterine environment in women with undiagnosed gestational diabetes mellitus.