Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and its Complications: From the Molecular Biology to the Clinical Practice

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The Review of Diabetic Studies,2004,1,1,5-8.
Published:May 2004
Author(s) affiliations:

Maciej T. Malecki

Department of Metabolic Diseases, Medical College, Jagiellonian University, 15 Kopernika Street, 31-501 Krakow, Poland.


Probably the most urgent problem in the field of diabetology, and one of the most important in XXI. century medicine, is an epidemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is estimated that the number of people with diabetes worldwide exceeds 200 million [1, 2]. Most of them are patients with type 2 diabetes. In the societies of the industrialized world the prevalence of this disease has reached a few percent of the entire population and is still growing [1, 2]. For many decades type 2 diabetes, formerly referred to as noninsulin- dependent, has been regarded a less dangerous type of disease by both the patients and their doctors. Just recall, “latent diabetes”, “biochemical diabetes”, “diabetes of old age”. Wrong!!! The scientists, physicians, patients, politicians and entire societies must now realize that type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of premature death, mainly due to cardiovascular causes, and of occurrence of complications that can lead to blindness, amputations, and renal insufficiency. The life expectancy of millions of patients is shortened due to the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes [3]. The disease imposes huge human and economic costs on patients, their families, local communities, health care systems, and societies [4]. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by two major defects: impaired insulin secretion and a decrease in its peripheral action [5]. Both of them have roots in the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Moreover, there is growing evidence that genetic background also influences the complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus [6-8]. Genetics of type 2 diabetes. Read more...