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Textbook of Diabetes

"Reference that provides comprehensive coverage of work in the field of diabetes"

Textbook of Diabetes

Textbook of Diabetes
Editors: John C. Pickup, Gareth Williams, J. S. Bridge

Publisher: Blackwell Publishers; 3rd edition (2003); 1466 pages

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Textbook of Diabetes is a reference that provides comprehensive coverage of work in the field of diabetes. Textbook of Diabetes focuses on the clinical aspects, basic sciences, and significant advances in the understanding of the disease. Includes new classes of drugs, revised chapters, and a color format

Review of Textbook of Diabetes From The New England Journal of Medicine (review of 2nd edition)

"In recent years, the number of publications in the field of diabetes has increased considerably. More and more original and review articles are published, not only in scientific journals but also in magazines and newspapers. The media, especially television, often offer programs on diabetes, and numerous books about diabetes are presented to general practitioners, nurses, dietitians, and specialists. While this is certainly the result of a growing interest in the subject and greater demand for knowledge about it, one might wonder about the real need for another book about diabetes. Considering all this, the editorial success of the second edition of the Textbook of Diabetes seems even more spectacular. The reasons for this success are several.
The ability of the editors and authors to present a comprehensive, concise, updated review of virtually all aspects of diabetes is a key factor. The reader who moves through the chapters looking for new information or descriptions of well-known events in diabetes is surprised by the uniformity of the approach used by the various authors to describe mechanisms, manifestations, and treatments of quite different aspects of the disease. All the presentations are clear, concise, and factual, and the text is pleasant to read.

A second important reason for the success of this book lies in the presentation of figures, illustrations, graphs, and tables. The graphics and the colors are inviting, leading the reader to grasp the message of the text immediately.

Nearly all the chapters are worth mentioning. However, those on the normal metabolism and physiology of fuel homeostasis, immune phenomena, insulin resistance, (beta)-cell defects in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), drug treatment of NIDDM, diabetic nephropathy, and lipid disorders in diabetes are particularly appealing. The chapters dedicated to infrequently covered aspects of the disease, such as psychological factors, living with diabetes, the delivery and organization of diabetes care, and future directions in diabetes research and care, are very interesting.

Notwithstanding these virtues, there are some aspects of the book to criticize. The greatest advances in diabetes over the past 15 years have concerned treatment. Intensive therapy is going to change the natural history of the disease. For example, the late microangiopathic complications are postponed, if not fully prevented, if nearly normal blood glucose levels are maintained over the long term. This has been demonstrated for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), but there is no doubt that it cannot also apply to NIDDM. Thus, the problem now is how to apply intensive treatment to young patients with new onset of IDDM, and patients in middle age with NIDDM. Intensive therapy requires resources and a willingness of patients to cooperate. It is difficult to describe the current status of this rapidly evolving field in a book. An example is the lack of information about the clinical use of short-acting insulin analogues, which reached the market between 1996 and 1997. Because preventing late microangiopathic complications in young patients with diabetes by maintaining nearly normal blood glucose levels over the long term is crucial, a specific chapter describing intensive therapy would have been useful.

In this regard, the part of the book dealing with the practical management of diabetes is probably the less perfect part because it looks more at the past than at the future. For example, no distinction is made between intensive and nonintensive therapy. As a consequence, there is no clear recommendation about which plan of insulin replacement should take priority in the treatment of diabetes, especially new-onset diabetes. It is a pity that the chapter on diabetes in children still defends the use of one or at most two injections of insulin per day instead of encouraging multiple injections. Most important, the latter approach in children anticipates the intensive treatment with insulin in young adults.

The second edition of Textbook of Diabetes appears seven years after the first edition, which was a great success. It is interesting to see that the editors were able to improve something that was already good. Because the field progresses so fast, it is nearly time for the editors to start planning the third edition. "

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"Reference that provides comprehensive coverage of work in the field of diabetes"

Textbook of Diabetes

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