'Diabetes epidemic in Indigenous populations' highlights disparity
About eight in 10 Indigenous Canadians who are young adults will develop Type 2 diabetes in their lifetimes compared with five in 10 in the general population, a new study suggests.
To make the projection published in Monday's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers in Alberta used data on a population of 2.8 million adults who were free of diabetes in the province and followed their health records for 20 years.
If 20-year-olds are followed for the rest of their lifetimes, the researchers estimated about eight in 10 First Nations people and about five in 10 non-First Nations people will develop diabetes, Tanvir Chowdhury Turin, of the family medicine department at the University of Calgary, and his co-authors said.
"The numbers we find are staggering and concerning," Turin said in an interview.
The risk was higher among First Nations people for all age groups and for both sexes.
Rural First Nations people had a higher risk of lifetime Type 2 diabetes compared with urban First Nations people.
Type 2 diabetes onset was earlier among First Nations people than non-First Nations people.
Men had a higher lifetime risk of diabetes than women of similar age groups in the non-first Nations group, but women had a higher lifetime risk than men in the First Nations group.
The findings should reset an alarm across Canada, Turin said.
"The problem was always with us. The alarm was on. People started working on it. But somehow the snooze button got pressed," he said, referring to a gradual indifference that set in over time.
The study's authors Continue reading