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A metabolic disorder in which the hormone insulin is ineffective either because of a failure of the pancreas to secrete it (type I, insulin-dependent, (IDDM), or juvenile onset) or because target tissues are relatively insensitive to its action (type II, non-insulin-dependent (NIDDM), or maturity-onset, diabetes). In IDDM, patients require regular administration of insulin. In contrast, patients with NIDDM may actually have a high blood concentration of insulin (hyperinsulinaemia) and the condition is frequently associated with obesity and hyperlipidaemia.
Source: Biotechnology Glossary