The number of cases of diabetes has doubled in Canada just since 2000, according to a new report by the Canadian Diabetes Association.
The CDA claims more than 10 million Canadians have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a shocking figure in a country with a population of about 35 million. The CDA also claims another one million Canadians are living with Type 2 diabetes and don’t know it yet. Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which your pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or your body does not properly use the insulin it makes. As a result, glucose (sugar) builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.
The claims are made in the CDA’s “2015 Report on Diabetes-Driving Change”.
CDA President and CEO Rick Blickstead says, “There are gaps we need to address so people living with diabetes and those who may be at risk for type 2 diabetes can access the care and support they need to live the healthiest lives possible. The new Driving Change report provides benchmarks to measure progress in the care and support of people with diabetes going forward.”
The report notes there are several gaps in care for those with diabetes and is calling for urgent government actions to address the issues in order to prevent amputations, reduce diabetes levels in the aboriginal population, reduce stigma and discrimination for those with diabetes, and improve support in schools for children with diabetes.
Key findings in the report include
- -The prevalence of diabetes, its complications and some modifiable risk factors (e.g. overweight and obesity, tobacco use) are disproportionately higher in Aboriginal communities.
- -Support is needed to address stigma about diabetes and mental health issues among people with diabetes: 33% of Canadians with diabetes are hesitant to disclose their diabetes, and 33% of Canadians with diabetes experience anxiety as a result of their disease.
- -Canadians with diabetes are not receiving the recommended level of care and timely education to prevent complications. Many of them, particularly those with lower incomes, do not have adequate insurance coverage for eye and dental care, specialist foot care, prescription medications and supplies.
- -High out-of-pocket costs and limited public plan coverage compromise the ability of Canadians to manage diabetes; some must choose between paying for food and rent or buying medications and supplies.