This report presents evidence in favor of the idea that the course of diabetes mellitus begins at birth, that inherent features predetermine the average rate of its progress, that its course is approximately half run before the disease is even recognized and that some years after recognition it may show progressive and permanent improvement. The data which permit these inferences may be obtained by a comparison of the amount of insulin required with the length of time the disorder has existed in comparable groups of diabetic subjects.
The course of diabetes mellitus is variable but is usually related to the age at which the disease appears. This fact is recognized by all clinicians who treat much diabetes. As expressed by Woodyatt,1 "As a general rule... the greater the age at which diabetes appears the slower will be its subsequent course." Exceptions occur at all ages, but the usual course
COLWELL AR. OBSERVED COURSE OF DIABETES MELLITUS AND INFERENCES CONCERNING ITS ORIGIN AND PROGRESS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1942;70(4):523–531. doi:10.1001/archinte.1942.00200220013002
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