Editorials

Diagnosing the undiagnosed with diabetes

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6929.611 (Published 05 March 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:611
  1. P D Home

    In developed countries the complications of type II (noninsulin dependent) diabetes present a public health problem greater than that of any infectious disease. It is a specifically public health problem because about half the patients who develop complications do so before their diabetes is diagnosed.1,2 It is also an important medical problem because the lifetime incidence of diabetes (overwhelmingly noninsulin dependent) is about 10%, and most people with diabetes will die of a condition related to it, after suffering illness and disability in the mean time.3

    The consensus now is that intervention improves the outcome,4,5 and the results of the United Kingdom prospective diabetes study should clarify the issue.6 If this is so, then detecting diabetes early is desirable; approaches such as screening or raising professional awareness could achieve this.7,8 Unfortunately, even where the prevalence of diabetes reaches 2%, …

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