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From The CriticsReviewer: Elizabeth Eames Littlejohn, M.D. (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This is an up-to-date review of the advances in our understanding of the specific contributions of prenatal, childhood, and adolescent factors to the development of insulin resistance (IR). It also discusses issues of IR across the lifespan.
Purpose: The purpose is to present the epidemiology, including definitions of IR, updated discussion of the pathophysiology of IR, and treatments, as well as the specific contributions of exercise and medical therapy for weight loss, to those manifesting IR. The book meets these broad objectives as well as the more specific objectives of providing a clear chronological discussion of the evolution of the criteria for metabolic syndrome (MetS), of which IR is a component.
Audience: It is written for healthcare providers, both physicians and nurses, who encounter patients with IR and MetS in their practices. It would also be important for students. The authors are credible authorities, but are not the leaders of the field internationally.
Features: The book includes an excellent discussion of the progression and evolution of the MetS criteria and an objective discussion of the relevance of why each criterion was developed. The explanation of IR mechanisms is technical and difficult to read, particularly since it lacks diagrams. However, the discussions of both the consequences and treatment of IR are complete and up to date. The color plates are extraordinary, but poorly referenced in the book. The introductions in each chapter are repetitive.
Assessment: Overall, this book makes a very good attempt at establishing the factors that are relevant in the development of IR across the lifespan. These include influences from the fetal environment, through the neonatal, childhood, and adolescent periods into adulthood. The book could have addressed some aspects of prevention in the time leading up to the end result of IR. However, it contributes to the field as a first attempt at presenting childhood factors of importance in the development of an adult disease.