Useful textbook on diabetes

Jøran Hjelmesæth About the author

Richard I.G. Holt, Clive Cockram, Allan Flyvbjerg et al.

Textbook of diabetes

Fifth edition, 1 086 pages, tables, illustrations. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017. Price GBP 200

ISBN 978-1-118-91202-7

The contributions of leading international diabetes experts have helped to ensure that this textbook provides a sound, updated overview on the topic of diabetes. Nordic medical professionals have contributed to several chapters, and it is gratifying to mention Lars C. Stene’s and Jaakko Tuomilehto’s excellent chapter on epidemiology (type 1 diabetes) as an example of this.

This is an updated version of an earlier book of the same title. The book contains 71 chapters organised into 13 main topics, beginning with historical considerations and ending with visions of the future. This reviewer immediately liked the fact that each chapter starts with a summary in the form of key points on a coloured background, making it possible to skim through the text fairly quickly by reading only the summaries. Tables and figures also have the same background, which makes this a clearly presented book which is easy to read.

Most of the main topics, for example normal physiology, pathogenesis and complications, are well written and updated. For example, a chapter on weight control (normal physiology) and obesity (pathogenesis) gives solid documentation on the importance of overweight as a contributory factor, and not least, weight loss as a key aspect in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

The chapters on treatment are organised into two main topics, one on general treatment principles, including patient education and simple behavioural therapy, the other on specific blood-glucose lowering treatment principles. The latter provides a good overview of modern insulin treatment, oral medication, GLP-1 receptor agonists, amylin analogues and treatment of acute metabolic complications. Practical advice on long-term behavioural change with regard to diet and exercise is a key feature, and the authors emphasise that weight control is proven to be the most important factor for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. It is therefore surprising and regrettable that supplementary treatment with bariatric surgery is not actually discussed other than in the pathogenesis chapter on obesity.

Somatic and psychosocial complications and sequalae are thoroughly described. Main topics such as vascular (micro-/macro-) complications, infections, foot problems, gastrointestinal manifestations and fatty liver are systematically dealt with and instructively written.

This is primarily a textbook for doctors treating patients with diabetes mellitus (types 1 and 2). Apart from the insufficient discussion of bariatric surgery in the therapy section, this is a comprehensive, updated and clearly presented introduction to the field. A digital version is also available.

Overall, I give the book a rating of 5 points out of 6.

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