diabetes or diabetes mellitusməlī´təs [key], chronic disorder of glucose (sugar) metabolism caused by inadequate production or use of insulin, a hormone produced in specialized cells (beta cells in the islets of Langerhans) in the pancreas that allows the body to use and store glucose. It is a leading cause of death in the United States and is especially prevalent among African Americans. The treatment of diabetes was revolutionized when F. G. Banting and C. H. Best isolated insulin in 1921.
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