Diabetes Mellitus Essay

1090 words - 5 pages

Harpreet Singh

Introduction:

An astounding 347 million individuals (WHO-Danaei.G) are inflicted with Diabetes mellitus (DM), a type of metabolic disease that’s significantly influenced by hyperglycemia (causing individuals to generate high blood sugar) and can be characterized by the insufficient production or improper reaction to insulin. There are three different types of DM: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational diabetes, all of which share common symptoms include polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst), and polyphagia (increased hunger) (Ahuja 1139). Generally, diabetes prevents the ingested glucose from entering the cells, ultimately depriving the body of its’ main ...view middle of the document...

Genetic and environmental factors also seem to indicate some correlation, as DM is a heritable disease, especially if more frequent within a family. However, obesity has been associated as the “most powerful risk factor for non-insulin-dependent DM” (Cambridge 3).

Gestational diabetes is defined as “impairment of glucose tolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy” and is mainly found throughout the tropical areas of the world (Wucher 617& Lieberman). It can also be defined as the “carbohydrate intolerance of variable severity with onset or first recognition during pregnancy, irrespective of the glycemic status after delivery” (Chen 1). The occurrence of GDM varies between 0.15 – 15.0% of the population worldwide, while women with GDM have increased susceptibility of subsequent development of overt diabetes, mainly non-insulin-dependent diabetes (T2D). Studies show that both insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion are involved in the pathogenesis of GDM, which closely resembles that of T2D. However, the precise genetic basis for GDM is still unclear, yet recent research has shown that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations have shown to be highly correlated with various diseases including diabetes mellitus. The involvement of mtDNA in the pathogenesis of diseases could contribute to the excessive maternal transmission of certain forms of diabetes since mitochondria are maternally inherited (Roy).
The prevalence of T1D indicates that there are almost half a million children under the age of 15 years worldwide, with the largest numbers being in Europe (129,000) and North America (108,700). Countries with the highest estimated numbers of new cases annually were the United States (13,000), India (10,900) and Brazil (5000). Within the U.S., there are ethnic differences in the prevalence of diabetes. For children under 20, type 1 diabetes is more common among non-Hispanic whites, then blacks, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders, and lowest in American Indians. However, among these same children with type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is more common among American Indians, followed by blacks, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics, and lowest in non-Hispanic whites (Liese).

Only 10 – 15% of newly diagnosed patients with T1D have a positive family history, yet T1D is one of the most heritable common diseases (Stankov). Susceptibility to T1D is determined by complex interactions between several genetic loci and environmental factors. The main susceptibility genes for T1D are the HLA class II alleles, accounting for up to 50% of the genetic risk. ...

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