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June 1, 1940

Diabetes Mellitus and the Jewish Race

Author Affiliations

By Ernst Lyon, M.D. Paper. Pp. 32. Jerusalem: Ludwig Mayer, 1940.

JAMA. 1940;114(22):2244. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810220068032

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This manuscript, which is more a compilation of the writings of others than the author's own work, is valuable in that it presents together the modern data on diabetes in Jews. According to Ernst Lyon, the Jewish race is not a pure race but has had many, many mixtures throughout all the years and therefore it is hardly correct to attribute the increase in diabetes in Jews to a racial origin. He emphasizes the necessity for the standardization of statistics because the Jewish population is older, owing to a smaller number of children. The possibilities of obesity and inbreeding must be considered. Furthermore, the social status and occupations are factors. The author is undoubtedly correct in stating that figures as to the incidence of diabetes in Jews must be interpreted according to their source. He says that those obtained from the private practice of specialists who are most frequently consulted

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