Canada Still Has A Chance To Reverse Its Diabetes Epidemic
Earlier this year I retired after a dozen years as president of Innovative Medicines Canada. Shortly after I took an assignment with the Canadian Diabetes Association and the opportunity to work on what is one of Canada's largest and most perplexing challenges: our diabetes epidemic.
For years public health authorities have been sounding the alarm. But the tone has become more urgent in recent years -- with terms like "burning platform" and "crisis" increasingly used.
Since 2000, the prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled. In the next 10 years, both prevalence and direct health-care costs for diabetes are projected to grow by more than 40 per cent.
In 2016, an estimated 29 per cent of Canada's population have either diabetes or prediabetes. The prevalence of diabetes in Canada is now slightly higher than in the United States. In fact, Canada has the second highest prevalence rates in recent study of 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries.
This is having a profound impact on the health of millions of Canadians, and costs our health-care system billions of dollars per year. In medical and human terms, the numbers are staggering:
Diabetes reduces the average lifespan by five to 15 years. It is estimated that one of 10 deaths in Canadian adults was attributable to diabetes in 2008-2009.
People with diabetes are over three times more likely to be hospitalized with cardiovascular disease, 12 times more likely to be hospitalized with end-stage renal disease and over 20 times more likely to be hospitalized for a non-traumatic lower limb ampu Continue reading