Diabetes Mellitus in the Tropics

by J. A. Tulloch, M.C., M.D., F.R.C.P.E., Professor of Medicine, Makerere College, University College of East Africa, formerly Senior Lecturer in Medicine, University College of West Indies, Jamaica. Foreword by E. K. Cruickshank, O.B.E., M.D., F.R.C.P., Professor of Medicine, University of the West Indies, Jamaica. x + 294 pages, E. & S. Livingstone Ltd. Edinburgh and London (American agents: Williams and Wilkins Co. Baltimore, Maryland) 1962. 37 s. 6 d. net

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  • Jefferson Medical College and Medical Center, Philadelphia 7, Pennsylvania

The author and his contributors have amassed a large amount of data concerning the problem of diabetes mellitus in the tropics. The number of tables are formidable but necessary to the author's purpose—a comprehensive survey of the frequency and problems of management of diabetes mellitus in those underdeveloped parts of the world which lie between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

This detailed study indicates that diabetes mellitus is increasing in frequency, probably because the Health Services are improving and the diagnosis made more frequently. The socio-economics of the countries surveyed are probably responsible for the problems of treatment; however, the principles of treatment are no different than in temperate climate. The relationship of obesity to diabetes is evident in the tropics as it is elsewhere.

Among the many important observations made by the author two were of unusual interest.The one concerns the age of onset;namely, the early age of onset of maturity-type diabetes and the rarity with which diabetes develops in childhood and adolescence,the latter in spite of the fact that one third of the population is less than 15 years old.