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The Unsettling UGDP Controversy

Arthur M. Sackler, MD
JAMA. 1980;243(14):1435-1436. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300400019020.
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IN 1970 when diabetics and diabetologists had only press releases available, patients and practicing physicians had a right to expect national medical organizations to protect their interests properly. Unfortunately, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Medical Association accepted, and their journals published, the University Group Diabetes Program (UGDP) report. The Food and Drug Administration not only accepted, but tried to act on the basis of that study.

Editorial Statement  Among the UGDP reports was an editorial by Thomas Chalmers, MD (231:624-625, 1975), titled "Settling the UGDP Controversy." This communication was characterized by a number of misleading implications.In his editorial, Dr Chalmers stated: "age-specific death rates were decreasing steadily from the time insulin was discovered until the late 1950s, in the older age groups there has been only an abrupt and continuing increase that started with the widespread use of oral agents.5,6" Reference 5 was from Reid and


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