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Diabetes in Burmese Cats

Lederer, R., J. S. Rand, et al. (2009). “Frequency of feline diabetes mellitus and breed predisposition in domestic cats in Australia.” Vet J 179(2): 254-8.

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is defined as a group of metabolic disorders characterized by yperglycemia as a result of defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. In the United States, the reported prevalence of feline DM has increased over the past 30 years from 1 in 1250 in 1970 to 1 in 81 cats affected by the disease in 1999. A number of studies have looked at potential risk factors for the development of DM, and increasing age, being a neutered male, and being obese have been identified. In North America, no particular breed of cat appears to be associated with an increased risk for the development of DM, but this does not appear to be true in other countries. The frequency of DM in two large feline-only clinics in Brisbane, Australia over a 5-year study period is described in this report. Frequency was estimated using period prevalences (the proportion of the population at risk that was affected by diabetes at any point during a specified time period). The 5-year period prevalence of DM was 7.4 per 1000 cats. Period prevalence was significantly higher in Burmese cats (22.4 cats per 1000) than in domestic longhair or shorthair cats. There appears to be a predisposition of Burmese cats to DM in some countries, and further investigations are warranted. [SL]
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Related articles:
McCann, T. M., K. E. Simpson, et al. (2007). “Feline diabetes mellitus in the UK: the prevalence within an insured cat population and a questionnaire-based putative risk factor analysis.” J Feline Med Surg 9(4): 289-99.
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Rand, J. S., L. M. Fleeman, et al. (2004). “Canine and feline diabetes mellitus: nature or nurture?” J Nutr 134(8 Suppl): 2072S-2080S.
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