Thirty Percent of Canadians to be Diabetic by 2020
Did you know that November is Diabetes Awareness Month? According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, 9 million people, nearly 1 in 4 Canadians, have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
More alarming figure is that thirty percent of Canadians will have diabetes or pre-diabetes by 2020. On the occasion of Diabetes Awareness Month, CDA released the findings forecasting a 62 percent increase in the diagnoses and cost of diabetes over the next 10 years. Pre-diabetes is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.
Michael Cloutier, President of CDA says it’s largely due to changing demographics of the aging population and new ethnic communities. It is estimated that the direct and indirect costs of diabetes in British Columbia will increase up to $1.9 billion per year by 2020.
The economic burden of diabetes represents only a part of the challenge. The human cost of the disease is also reaching epidemic proportions. There are currently 338,000 people, or 7.4 percent of the population, diagnosed with diabetes in BC. It is not an exaggeration to say that diabetes is called the ‘Plague of the 21st Century.’
In order to offset the burden caused by diabetes, CDA demands that the government introduce an enhanced diabetes strategy through an independent review of current diabetes policies and programs. Cloutier said that “turning the tide against diabetes requires a shift in government approach, private sector involvement and broad-based personal and societal change.”
CDA is also sponsoring events to help people with diabetes maintain healthy lives while they work to find a cure. Canada has been the leading country in the area of diabetes research since the discovery of insulin by Dr. Frederick Grant Banting of the University of Toronto in 1921, one of the most important medical advances of the 20th century.
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