||Imagine our dismay
when we arrived on the island only planning to stay a week in any case,
finding that half of our equipment including the glucose loads had been left
on the runway at Melbourne Airport! Well you have to thank the British!
Digging through old stocks in the pharmacy left over from colonial rule, we
found hundreds of bottles of BP Pharmacopeia 50% glucose. The next few days
were spent making a "witches’ brew" as we diluted down the glucose and made
it palatable for the glucose loads.
We surveyed 100 people on the first day. We were absolutely amazed that
33 of those 100 had results consistent with diabetes. Pincus was absolutely
convinced it was something to do with the incorrect dilutions of the glucose
loads or that the blood glucose methodology was flawed. So convinced of
this, he decided it was time to return to Melbourne that day leaving me on
the island with the local team and a laboratory assistant from Melbourne.
Well, on the second day another 33 out of 100 had diabetes and so it went
and we ended the survey with figures (18) that almost rivalled the then
highest diabetes prevalence in the world, the Pima Indians.