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[Perspectives] Type 2 diabetes

Tags: General

In the space of a few months in 1921, an acute and terminal disease—type 1 diabetes—became a manageable chronic condition. The discovery of insulin by Frederick Banting, Charles Best, and their colleagues captured a mood of therapeutic optimism, the hope that a new scientific medicine, rooted in the laboratory and working through the networks of industry and state health care, could find cures for all diseases. But insulin therapy, clinicians soon realised, was effective in only a minority of patients. The remainder had what since the mid-1970s has been called type 2 diabetes—a disease that has come to represent another face of modern medicine: complex chronic diseases associated with the social, commercial, and obesogenic environments of industrial and post-industrial nations.

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