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Editorial
February 12, 2014

Understanding the Origins of Diabetes

Author Affiliations
  • 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • 2National Institute for Health Research Nutrition Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospital Southampton, United Kingdom
JAMA. 2014;311(6):575-576. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2

The widespread concern over the increasing prevalence of obesity and associated diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some forms of cancer has led in part to a new emphasis on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).1 Noncommunicable diseases are a challenge in developed countries but, even more, in developing countries where increasing urbanization and socioeconomic changes lead to the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, smoking, stressful behavior, and exposure to other risk factors such as pollutants. Not only is the prevalence of NCDs increasing, but these disorders are being observed in younger members of the population,2 for whom the long-term costs of health care, loss of earnings, and social consequences are likely to have devastating effects. The problem is associated with social inequalities, affecting lower-socioeconomic status groups in many societies.

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