Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder of multiple etiologies characterized by chronic hyperglycemia with disturbances of carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism resulting from defects of insulin, insulin action, or a combination of both. Recent estimates suggest that 285 million people throughout the world have diabetes. This number may increase to 500 million, by 2030. Up to 50% of all patients with type 2 diabetes are undiagnosed. People with diabetes are at substantially increased risk of developing complications (about 20% cardiovascular complications over a 5-year period), both macrovascular (mainly coronary heart disease and stroke) and microvascular (retinopathy and nephropathy).

The economic burden of diabetes and its complication is a growing concern. As an example, healthcare cost resulting from complications of T2D diabetes was $58 billion in the US in 2007.

The figure below illustrates the benefit of current intensive therapy, as well as the residual risks (red arrow, after 15 years of follow-up) of complications in diabetes patients.

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