We have chosen to discuss the clinical and etiologic heterogeneity of diabetes in man, since in recent years there has been an accumulation of evidence from many centers, including our own, that idiopathic or primary diabetes mellitus is not a single disease entity. What we call diabetes mellitus appears to consist of a number of heterogeneous syndromes characterized by a continuum of metabolic changes secondary to insufficient insulin action and by various tissue changes referred to as the chronic complications of diabetes.

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