Research Article

Diabetic dimorphism according to acetylator status.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 28 January 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:208
  1. A W Burrows,
  2. T D Hockaday,
  3. J I Mann,
  4. J G Taylor


    Two groups of diabetics and 19 normal controls had their rate of acetylation of sulphadimidine measured. Among 47 patients with maturity onset diabetes the 29 fast acetylators were older at diagnosis and, at a given glucose concentration, had a higher pretreatment fasting insulin concentration than slow acetylators. They also had a larger first-phase insulin secretion in response to intravenous glucose both before and after one month's dietary treatment. The greatest difference between fast and slow acetylators was in the first-phase secretion of insulin after a month's treatment. The proportion of fast acetylators among the second group of diabetics, who had been admitted to improve their glucose concentrations or for treatment of tissue damage, was similar to that among the normal controls (50% and 47% respectively). The data seem to indicate that diabetics are fast acetylators unexpectedly often, but it is not clear whether the dimorphism according to acetylator status produces a differential risk of neuropathy or of any other type of diabetic tissue damage.