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From The CriticsReviewer: Alexander B. Lurie, MD (University of Chicago Medical Center)
Description: This book reviews the epidemiology and diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, covering diagnosis and prevention, the epidimiology of specfic world populations, and risk factors and complications of diabetes.
Purpose: The purpose is to give a global overview of epidemiological studies done in diabetes over the past 20 years. Since it has been more than 20 years since the last publication of this sort, this book is a well needed update and overview of recent epidemiological data.
Audience: According to the author, the book is intended for all diabetes care providers, researchers, and public health experts. I would agree with this statement. The author is one of the leading experts in the field.
Features: The book is divided into three major sections. The first focuses on definitions, diagnosis and prevention. In addition to giving useful guidelines, it contains an excellent historical overview of various diabetes classification terms. For example, it discusses how the previous WHO classification of diabetes (IDDM vs. NIDDM) has evolved in the current ADA classification of type 1 and 2 diabetes. There is also a good overview of how the diagnostic criteria has changed, especially with regard to the oral glucose tolerance test. Genetic and environmental determinants of diabetes are also discussed. The second part consists of chapters directed at specific populations — e.g. African American, Native Americans, as well as specific regions of the world — Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, China, and Japan. Of particular relevance to those practicing in U.S. inner city clinics is a chapter devoted to understanding the increasingly prevalent "youth-onset type 2 diabetes" — patients who are diagnosed as children with type 1 diabetes mellitus, yet their subsequent clinical course more resembles type 2 diabetes. This chapter gives an excellent overview of the epidemioology, trends, and pathogenesis of this "intermediate" form of diabetes. The third, large section is devoted to risk factors and complications of diabetes and gives an overview of pathogenesis and strategies to prevent these complications.
Assessment: This book would be an excellent reference for any endocrinologist or primary care physician with an interest in diabetes — not only in terms of understanding diabetes pathogenesis and epidemiological trends, but also for implemetning preventative strategies based on thsese trends. Since it has been some 25 years since the last book of its kind, this is a much needed addition to the field.