Diabetes mellitus (diabetes)
# 6. cause of death in 2005
Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus
share the name "diabetes" because they are both conditions characterized by excessive urination (polyuria).
The word "diabetes" is borrowed from the Greek word meaning "a siphon." The 2nd-century A.D. Greek physician,
Aretus the Cappadocian, named the condition "diabetes." He explained that patients with it had polyuria and "passed
water like a siphon."
When "diabetes" is used alone, it refers to diabetes mellitus. The two main types of diabetes mellitus -- insulin-requiring
type 1 diabetes and adult-onset type 2 diabetes -- are distinct and different diseases in themselves.
From an economic perspective, the total annual cost of diabetes in 1997 was estimated to be 98 billion dollars in the
United States. The per capita cost resulting from diabetes in 1997 amounted to $10,071.00; while healthcare costs for
people without diabetes incurred a per capita cost of $2,699.00. During this same year, 13.9 million days of hospital
stay were attributed to diabetes, while 30.3 million physician office visits were diabetes related. Remember, these
numbers reflect only the population in the United States. Globally, the statistics are staggering.
Diabetes is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer.
Persons with diabetes mellitus, either type I or type II, have early and accelerated atherosclerosis. The most serious
complications of this are atherosclerotic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and renal disease. The most common
cause of death with diabetes mellitus is myocardial infarction (heart attack).
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