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Views & Reviews Review of the Week

Life is Sweet

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 26 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2791
  1. John Quin, consultant physician, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton
  1. John.Quin{at}

    There was great optimism about diabetes in the 1980s, but a new polemic from the USA sets out a grimmer, more complex future, finds John Quin

    “To each age its defining disease . . . diabetes is the defining affliction of modern Western civilization”—so says Dan Hurley, an investigative journalist who has type 1 diabetes. Here he matches Michael Moore’s anger at institutional dither. This is not a self help guide; this is a counterblast of polemic from a man who knows the price he and we are paying. The Centers for Disease Control now projects that 33% of all American boys and 39% of all girls born in 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. Hurley’s message is stark—America is killing its youth. So what are we to do?

    There was great optimism about diabetes in the early 1980s. We had a bounty of new developments—laser photocoagulation to treat proliferative retinopathy, home blood glucose monitoring, pancreatic transplantation, early insulin pumps (“dumb as a brick”), and talk everywhere of cure within a decade. But now we face a …

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