March 1978

On Characterizing Brittle Diabetics

Author Affiliations

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Arch Intern Med. 1978;138(3):360-361. doi:10.1001/archinte.1978.03630270014009

The study of human diabetes must involve human diabetics. There is much that is to be learned by investigating appropriate models of diabetes in animals, in vitro and in vivo. Ultimately, however, hypotheses concerning spontaneous human diabetes must be tested on spontaneously diabetic humans. It is essential that the diabetic state of the subjects of such investigations be characterized. It is also necessary that the characterization be quantitative; otherwise, comparisons of the findings in the same subject from time to time and from one subject to another are not possible. The article by Lev-Ran in this issue of the Archives (p 372) is a contribution to the method of quantitative characterization of unstable diabetics. Unstable diabetes is that form of (usually) spontaneous human diabetes that has been particularly troublesome to patients and physicians because of the great variability of metabolic response to consistent attempts at therapy. The extreme degree of

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