Year in Diabetes 2012: The Diabetes Tsunami

JCEM: 11/26/12

Diabetes affects more than 300 million individuals globally, contributing to significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. As the incidence and prevalence of diabetes continue to escalate with the force of an approaching tsunami, it is imperative that we better define the biological mechanisms causing both obesity and diabetes and identify optimal prevention and treatment strategies that will enable a healthier environment and calmer waters. New guidelines from the American Diabetes Association/European Association of the Study of Diabetes and The Endocrine Society encourage individualized care for each patient with diabetes, both in the outpatient and inpatient setting. Recent data suggest that restoration of normal glucose metabolism in people with prediabetes may delay progression to type 2 diabetes (T2DM). However, several large clinical trials have underscored the limitations of current treatment options once T2DM has developed, particularly in obese children with the disease. Prospects for reversing new-onset type 1 diabetes also appear limited, although recent clinical trials indicate that immunotherapy can delay the loss of β-cell function, suggesting potential benefits if treatment is initiated earlier.  Read more