Journal Article

The epidemiology of diabetes mellitus.

R Trevisan, M Vedovato and A Tiengo

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Volume 13, issue suppl_8, pages 2-5
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
The epidemiology of diabetes mellitus.

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Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) develops predominantly in children and young adults, but may appear in all age groups. The incidence of IDDM differs greatly among populations, with Finland and Sardinia showing the greatest incidence rates (approximately 30-35% of cases annually per 100000 children up to age 14 years) and oriental populations showing the lowest rates. IDDM is diagnosed more frequently in the winter months. The major genetic susceptibility to IDDM is linked to the HLA complex on chromosome 6. These genetic backgrounds interact with environmental factors (possibly certain viruses, foods and climate) to initiate the immune-mediated process that leads to beta-cell destruction. Non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM) is the most common form of diabetes. The prevalence of NIDDM varies enormously from population to population. The greatest rates have been found in Pima Indians. The major environmental factors identified as contributing to this form of diabetes are obesity and reduced physical activity. NIDDM shows strong familial aggregation in all populations and is clearly the result of an interaction between genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. Before NIDDM develops, insulin concentrations are high for the degree of glycaemia and of obesity, reflecting the presence of insulin resistance. As insulin resistance worsens, glucose levels increase, with the appearance of glucose intolerance and, finally, of NIDDM, when insulin response cannot compensate for insulin resistance.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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