Diabetes Rising: How a Rare Disease Became a Modern Pandemic, and What to Do About It

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Kaplan Pub., Jan 5, 2010 - Health & Fitness - 312 pages
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Nearly 90 years after the discovery of insulin, with an estimated $116 billion spent annually on the medical treatment of diabetes in the United States, why is diabetes the one major cause of death that’s been relentlessly rising for a century? Diabetes Rising investigates why the nearly two dozen medications approved for type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes, and all the high-tech treatments for type 1 (juvenile-onset) diabetes, are failing to slow this modern pandemic of Western civilization. The book also profiles promising new approaches that are making significant strides toward preventing, curing, or dramatically improving treatment of the disease. Written by Dan Hurley, a regular contributor to the science section of the New York Times (and himself a type 1 diabetic for over 30 years), Diabetes Rising breaks medical news by revealing:

  • The wealthiest town in Massachusetts, where an outbreak of type 1 diabetes among the children has parents up in arms, and a state investigation underway.
  • The county in West Virginia with the highest rate of type 2 diabetes in the country (where Hurley spent an evening with a family of 10 siblings, all of whom have the disease, and the local Wal-Mart proudly announces that it sells more Little Debbie snack cakes than any other Wal-Mart in the world). 
  • Why the rate of type 1 diabetes has been rising just as fast and just as long as the rate of type 2, transforming a childhood disease that was once exceedingly rare into one that now affects most elementary school systems in the country. 
  • How the “artificial pancreas,” long considered a holy grail that would take decades to develop, has now reached the final stages of testing—the book describes Hurley’s extraordinary experience participating in one of the world’s first clinical trials of the device, and profiles the colorful mavericks pushing the technology forward. 
  • Why international diabetes experts believe that three simple, little-known approaches—avoiding cow’s milk in baby formulas, getting adequate amounts of vitamin D, and simply playing in the dirt—could prevent many cases of diabetes.
  • Innovative public-health strategies in New York City, Los Angeles and elsewhere that are seeking to attack diabetes today just as campaigns of a century ago defeated communicable diseases—with public-health laws regulating fast-food restaurants.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - speljamr - LibraryThing

If you think you know all you need to know about Diabetes and what causes it, I strongly recommend you give this book a read and realize just how complex the subject really is. This rising disease ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - onthequest - LibraryThing

I stayed awake late into the night reading this book, and finished it off by the middle of the afternoon the next day. The writing is that good. Now, here's the thing: I don't have diabetes, and ... Read full review


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About the author (2010)

Dan Hurleyis a science writer and journalist who regularly contributes toThe New York Times Science Times. He also writes for numerous medical newspapers, includingNeurology Today(the newspaper of the American Academy of Neurology),Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News,Pharmacy Practice News,General Surgery News,and others. He has been senior writer at theMedical Tribuneand contributing editor toPsychology Today, where his article on the violent mentally ill won the American Society of Journalists and Authors’ award for investigative journalism in 1995. He is the former Vice President of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. He is also the author ofNatural Causes: Death, Lies, and Politics in America's Vitamin and Herbal Supplement IndustryandThe 60-Second Novelist: What 22,613 People Taught Me About Life.

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