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[IP] Historical Notes On Diabetes


Historical Notes On Diabetes
By Lou Adler

Monday, March 27, 2000 - 12:56 PM ET

(WCBS) There are about 16 million people in this country with diabetes. That's 
an 800 percent increase over the past 35 years, despite the vast improvement 
in medical knowledge about the disease. Dr. Walter Bortz outlined the history 
of the illness in a recent issue of "The Diabetes Wellness Letter," a 
publication of The Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation. 

Dr. Bortz points out that before the development of insulin, only a small 
percentage of children with type-I diabetes lived more than two-and-a-half- 
years. Thirty percent of pregnant women with the disorder died during 
pregnancy. It wasn't until 1921 that a physiologist named Frederick Banting, 
using pancreatic extract from a dog, discovered the sugar-reduction capacity 
of insulin.

Since then, millions of lives have been saved and yet the number of people 
with the disease keeps rising. Dr. Bortz says what's needed desperately is 
what he calls a new "shining idea" to match that of the discovery of insulin.

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