June 1966

Spontaneous Remissions in Early Diabetes Mellitus

Author Affiliations


From the Prenatal Metabolic and Diabetes clinics, Boston University and Harvard medical services, Boston City Hospital, Boston.

Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(6):769-774. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870120033007

THE INTERMITTENT nature of some cases of diabetes mellitus has been recognized for many years.1 Review of the literature 2 supports this without question, since remissions are reported even following diabetic acidosis. Admittedly, these remissions are of a more temporary nature and less common in adults than in children. Amelioration in diabetes of less dramatic onset is also reported, but it appears to occur primarily in older individuals.3

Documented improvements in diabetics have, for the most part, been attributed to effective early treatment or to the removal of a causative factor. Remissions have been of widely varying duration, but cures have been denied and generally ascribed to faulty initial diagnoses.4 Some authors have cautioned that a fluctuating course in early diabetes could provoke false reliance on particular forms of therapy.2,3 Nevertheless, the recent reports of remissions in groups of young people were impressive enough to be attributed to a specific

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