Skip to Main Content

A 66-year-old man with obesity and mild hypertension controlled with a diuretic presents with increasing nocturia and excessive thirst. He has no other urinary symptoms and denies any visual problems. His mother had diabetes and died at age 85 years from a heart attack. His only other concern is a recurrent fungal infection on his feet. His blood pressure in the office today is 135/85 mm Hg and his finger stick blood sugar is 220 mg/dL. You explain that based on his elevated blood sugar, he has diabetes mellitus. Physical exam findings confirm the diagnosis of tinea pedis (Figure 219-1). A monofilament test demonstrates normal sensation in his feet. You order a fasting blood sugar, lipid profile, serum electrolytes, creatinine, and hemoglobin A1C. You ask him to return next week for a more complete examination, review of his test results, and diabetes education. You ask him and his wife to consider meeting with a nutritionist, and briefly review treatment options, including diet, exercise, and metformin, as well as a possible need to improve his blood pressure control or switch to another agent. You suggest a nonprescription antifungal cream and will see if he needs additional treatment for his feet at follow-up. The patient is referred to an ophthalmologist who finds diabetic nonproliferative retinopathy (Figure 219-2).

Figure 219-1

Patient with diabetes and tinea pedis being tested with a monofilament for sensation. (Courtesy of Richard P. Usatine, MD.)

Figure 219-2

Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, with scattered intraretinal dot-blot and flame hemorrhages, along with macular exudates. Macular exudates can be related to diabetic macular edema, which accounts for a large portion of poor vision and disability secondary to diabetic retinopathy. (Courtesy of Andrew Sanchez, COA.)

Diabetes is a group of disorders caused by a complex interaction between genetic susceptibility, environmental factors, and personal lifestyle choices that share the phenotype of hyperglycemia. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is a heterogeneous group of chronic disorders caused by a progressive insulin secretory defect and increased glucose production in the setting of insulin resistance.

  • Prevalence—In the United States, 25.8 million adults and children (8.3% of the population), including 18.8 million who have been diagnosed, have diabetes. This includes about 1 in 400 children and adolescents and 26.9% of people age 65 years and older. Type 2 DM is the most common form, accounting for more than 90% of cases.
  • Incidence—In the United States in 2010, there were 1.9 million new cases among individuals 19 years of age and older.
  • Highest rates of diabetes are in non-Hispanic blacks (12.6%), followed by Hispanics (11.8%), Asian Americans (8.4%), and non-Hispanic whites (7.1%).
  • In 2007, total costs of diagnosed DM in the United States were $174 billion ($116 billion in ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.