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June 20, 1966


JAMA. 1966;196(12):1085. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100250095041

Diabetes is rarely thought of as a remitting disorder. True, a temporary improvement in carbohydrate tolerance is often observed in children after the subsidence of the acute early phase of the disease, and in adults after the abatement of a precipitating "stress" factor. However, diabetes is not generally viewed in the same context of remission and relapse as pernicious anemia, disseminated sclerosis, or even rheumatoid arthritis.

In the June Archives of Internal Medicine, O'Sullivan and Hurwitz1 suggest that this view may have to be modified. Having studied sequential glucose tolerance tests in 83 nonpregnant young diabetic women six months to two years after the onset of the disease, these investigators found an improvement in 54% and a return to normal in 28%.

This high remission rate should lead to reassessment of therapy and diagnostic screening. The former would have to be judged more critically in the light of possible

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