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February 24, 1962


JAMA. 1962;179(8):648-649. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050080060013

In 1946-1947, Wilkerson and Krall1 of the U.S. Public Health Service carried out the first sizable community study of the prevalence of diabetes as manifested by blood and urine sugar studies. The original survey found that while there were 40 known cases of diabetes in the 3,516 persons studied from the entire 4,983 inhabitants in Oxford, Mass., there were also 30 newly discovered cases. This indicated a prevalence of 2.0 per cent of those tested, or a projected 1.7 per cent of the entire population of the town, and was one of the factors that suggested the probability of "1,000,000 unknown diabetics" in the United States. The serial observations and comprehensive physical examinations have continued through the years, and the most recent report (fourth of the series) published in this issue of The Journal (p. 652) indicates that 36 of the original 70 have now died. Thirty-two of these