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Diabetes mellitus is a public health threat that rivals HIV/AIDS in its reach and deadly toll. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF), an alliance of diabetes associations in more than 160 countries, has described diabetes mellitus as a "global epidemic with devastating humanitarian, social, and economic consequences." The most prevalent form of the disease-accounting for 90% to 95% of diabetes cases-is type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), formerly known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes. At least 7 million people develop T2DM each year, and 3.8 million people die from complications of the disease. "Yet awareness of the global scale of the diabetes threat," the IDF contends, "remains pitifully low."