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December 1962

Diabetes Mellitus and Cystic Fibrosis of the Pancreas: Laboratory and Clinical Observations

Author Affiliations

Harry Shwachman, M.D., The Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston 15, Mass.; From the Division of Laboratories and Research and the Department of Medicine, Children's Hospital Medical Center, and the Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School.

Am J Dis Child. 1962;104(6):625-634. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080030625007

Introduction  The increasing longevity of patients with cystic fibrosis of the pancreas is accompanied by an increasing incidence of complications not directly related to malabsorption or pulmonary disease. In this paper we point out that diabetes mellitus is such a complication, that it is commoner than previously reported, and that genetic liability to diabetes is of value in anticipating the disease, as it is in healthy children.

Patient Material  All patients were known to have cystic fibrosis of the pancreas and were seen through the facilities of Children's Hospital Medical Center. Diagnoses were confirmed by duodenal fluid assay and/or sweat electrolyte analysis. Ten patients with diabetes were known to us in an experience with about 1,300 patients with cystic fibrosis seen since 1947. The 1,300 patients represent approximately 880 families.

Definition of Diabetes  Our criterion for the diagnosis of diabetes was the presence of any 3 of the following findings:

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