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SYPHILIS AS A CAUSE OF DIABETES MELLITUS:  RELATION OF WASSERMANN TEST AND OF LIPOIDEMIA

JOHN R. WILLIAMS, M.D.
JAMA. 1918;70(6):365-367. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600060011004.
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The startling pronouncement of Warthin and Wilson1 in 1916 that syphilis is probably a frequent cause of diabetes mellitus and that the Wassermann test and clinical history, when negative, are inconclusive evidence of the absence of syphilis in diabetes is of importance to clinicians who have to do with either disease. When it is considered by various authorities that there are from 100,000 to 1,000,000 diabetics and about 3,000,000 syphilitics in this country, it will become obvious that the relation of these two highly important diseases requires careful study. My experience as a clinician does not qualify me to pass judgment on the validity of the Wassermann reaction as an indicator of syphilitic infection in the living. It is generally believed, however, that when properly controlled, it is by far the best diagnostic procedure for the purpose at our disposal. Furthermore, it seems scarcely credible that there can be

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