Diabetes in Society


Lessons from the history of insulin

I recently had the enormous honour to unveil a large bronze statue of Nicolae Paulescu in Bucharest together with the President of Romania. The occasion was the 80th anniversary of the publication of Paulescu’s seminal paper on his discovery of insulin…

Wanted! Cost-effective solutions in diabetes care

As daunting as the overall costs of diabetes are, the day-to-day challenge for individuals with diabetes and policy makers relates to choices in diabetes care. What benefits do various choices of intervention provide and at what cost? Whether these questions are asked at an individual or national level, knowing the answers is fundamental to cost-effectiveness.

Epidemiology, clinical medicine and public health: at the interface

In today’s health-conscious world, ill health is no longer an inexplicable ‘act of God’, nor a punishment for wrong-doing nor an evil spell. The marriage of medicine and science, scarcely a century old, has revealed much about the causes of disease, how to treat it and, increasingly, how to prevent it. This is particularly valid for people with diabetes, a condition which, over the years, has prompted increased understanding and acquisition of knowledge. The disorder has been recognized and described almost since the written human record started.

Implementing national diabetes programmes in Latin America

The prevalence of diabetes in Latin America will double within the next couple of decades. Type 2 diabetes is already among the first 10 causes of mortality in the Latin American adult population due to chronic complications related to premature and accelerated atherosclerosis. It is also estimated that around one third of these women and half of these men remain undiagnosed for years. Latin America must, therefore, be prepared for an epidemic with serious consequences.

A diabetes voice from Barbados

“My name is Olivia Bayne. I am from the island of Barbados located in the West Indies. I am like the average teenager but with one vital difference. I have had Type 1 diabetes since I was eight years old…”

Seeing it right: accessible information for the visually impaired

Failure to provide accessible information for blind and partially sighted people is both unacceptable and unnecessary. It is unacceptable in that it is a denial of a fundamental right to information. It is unnecessary in that it makes no sense on business grounds. Providing information in alternative formats need not be expensive or difficult; large print, audio tape and computer files can be easily provided without specialist equipment.

Decades of diabetes

Hazel Davies and Roy Cross have never met, but they have a lot in common: they are both Australian centenarians, masters of long-term diabetes control. This story is a tribute to them and their astonishing achievement in reaching a ripe age with diabetes—and without complications.

Hypoglycaemia at work: unfounded discrimination?

When firefighter Tim Hoy developed Type 1 diabetes he was immediately placed on 'light duties' pending a medical dismissal. Tim successfully appealed against the decision, but the assumption that the need for self-treatment with insulin, with its associated risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels), poses a safety risk in the workplace is a recurrent problem. The Edinburgh-based study, funded by Diabetes UK, gathered data from over 243 people with diabetes.

Understanding the human side of diabetes

The findings of the recently-conducted DAWN study (Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs) tell us that people with diabetes who are cut off from a community of support not only manage their condition ineffectively, but also feel worse within themselves. Networks of supportive family, colleagues or friends appear to be at least as important as medication in relation to the ability of a person with diabetes to manage their condition.

The road to becoming a working mum

Shilpa Verma from India is a mother, a wife, a diabetologist and a clinical researcher. But long before she became all these, she was diagnosed with diabetes.