Diabetes has become a worldwide health problem, the global estimated prevalence approaches ten percent and the burden of this disease in terms of morbidity and mortality is unprecedented. The advances acquired through the knowledge of the mechanisms of the disease and the variety of therapeutic approaches contrast with the inability of private and public health systems in underdeveloped and even developed countries to achieve the goals of treatment. This paradox has been described in many sources: the surge of scientific advances contrast with an unprecedented amount of human suffering. Thus, a patient centered and an evidence based approach with the capacity to produce measurable clinical and economic outcomes is required.
The purpose of this textbook is multiple: to offer a comprehensive resource covering all aspects of outpatient management; to address diabetes as a health problem from an epidemiological, economic and clinical perspective; to discuss the role of social determinants of health on the worldwide increase in diabetes; to highlight the challenges and obstacles in providing adequate care; and to outline a multidisciplinary approach to management in which medical visits retain their importance as part of a team comprising the patient, his or her family and a multidisciplinary group of health professionals who are able to move beyond the traditional approach of diabetes as a disease and greatly improve outcomes.