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August 17, 1984

Diabetes in Epidemiological Perspective

Author Affiliations

St Francis Hospital Milwaukee

JAMA. 1984;252(7):952. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350070064031

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


As early as 1921, Eliot Joslin pointed out that diabetes mellitus has epidemic characteristics. Despite his powerful testimony that the epidemiologic approach could provide great insights into the distribution, determinants, and prevention of this disease, little attention was devoted to this area in the past 60 years.

This volume attempts to compensate for our lack of emphasis on the epidemiology of diabetes by providing an authoritative and cosmopolitan view of diabetes mellitus as it continues to emerge in various societies around the world. Twenty-two contributors describe the incidence, prevalence, natural history, and etiology of diabetes in both primitive and affluent cultures, and show how these factors affect the patterns of clinical practice and the provision of health services in various countries.

The excellent chapter by R. F. Hamman on diabetes in affluent societies can be applied directly to populations in the United States, while the chapters on migrant populations suggest