Canadian Diabetes Association Releases Opinion Poll Results and Report
TORONTO, April 4 /CNW/ - The results of an exclusive Canadian Diabetes
Association public opinion poll revealed today the serious concern by
Canadians that the diabetes epidemic in Canada threatens the health of
their own families, the healthcare system and the Canadian economy.
According to the poll conducted by Environics Research Group*, 41 per
cent of respondents believe their own children or children they may
have in the future are at risk of developing type 2
diabetes. Furthermore, almost 90 per cent of respondents believe that
diabetes is having a serious impact on the future of the healthcare
system, while 62 per cent indicate that diabetes is hurting the
Concurrent with the release of these poll results, the Association has
released a new report entitled Diabetes: Canada at the Tipping Point - Charting a New Path**. The findings of this report confirm the concerns of Canadians that our
country is not adequately prepared to manage the growing burden of
"Canadians recognize that diabetes is at epidemic proportions and will
impact future generations, yet governments are not responding in equal
measure," says Michael Cloutier, President and CEO of the Canadian
Diabetes Association. "Our report shows that we are at the tipping
point and unless action is taken immediately, diabetes will threaten
the health of millions of more Canadians and the future sustainability
of the Canadian healthcare system and our economy."
The report provides a comprehensive overview and assessment of federal,
provincial and territorial government policies and programs for people
with diabetes. Its findings indicate that while some progress has been
made by governments to address diabetes, this progress is dwarfed by
the growing burden of the disease. Nationwide, diabetes rates have
almost doubled over the past decade and, unless action is taken now,
one in three people in Canada will be living with diabetes or
prediabetes by 2020.
While no region of Canada is immune to diabetes, the report shows that
for people with diabetes, where they live in Canada still has a strong
impact on their ability to manage their disease. Additionally, in
comparison to its peer countries, Canada has some of the highest rates
of diabetes prevalence, mortality and avoidable diabetes-related
According to Shawn Shepheard, Chair of the Association's National
Advocacy Council, "People like me, who live with diabetes, fear both
the risk of major medical complications and discrimination due to our
disease and our ability to afford the costs associated with managing
diabetes." These concerns are echoed within the Environics poll where
78 per cent of those with type 2 diabetes reported they feel at risk of
developing serious health complications due to their disease, and one
in three noted that there are situations where they would hesitate to
reveal they have diabetes.
When Canadians were asked to name the top factors driving increasing
diabetes rates, 84 per cent point to the failure of people to take care
of their own health and 81 per cent blame the food industry. In
addition, when Canadians were informed that today one in four Canadians
have either diabetes or prediabetes, 72 per cent say governments should
spend more than they are now on programs and services designed to
prevent and manage diabetes.
"Novo Nordisk is proud to partner with the Canadian Diabetes Association
in its work to increase awareness of the burden of diabetes in Canada
and to understand the concerns Canadians have about the severe impact
of diabetes on their families, our healthcare system and the economy,"
said Vince Lamanna, President of Novo Nordisk Canada. "At Novo Nordisk,
we are changing the future of diabetes in Canada by collaborating with
the diabetes community to identify and implement better methods of
diabetes prevention, education, treatment and support."
To "tip" the course of diabetes in Canada, the Canadian Diabetes
Association is calling upon all governments to act now to reduce the
burden of diabetes, enhance support for people with diabetes and
strategically invest in diabetes programs and services.
"Unlike many other chronic diseases, diabetes can be managed
effectively, allowing people with diabetes to live long and healthy
lives," explains Cloutier. "Change will take time, and the time is now
to work together if we have any hope of altering our current course to
chart a new path for a healthier Canada in the near future."
The Growing Impact of Diabetes in Canada
Canada has one of the highest rates of diabetes prevalence at 9.2 per
cent in comparison to its peer countries. Even more concerning is that
Canada's rate of diabetes-related mortality is the third-highest among
its peer countries.
The total population with diabetes is estimated to be 2.7 million people
(7.6 per cent) and this figure is projected to rise to 4.2 million
people (10.8 per cent) by 2020. While the number of Canadians diagnosed
with diabetes is already high, an additional one million are estimated
to be living with undiagnosed diabetes. Currently, one in four
Canadians lives with diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes; and
this will rise to one in three by 2020 if current trends continue.
Given projections of the total Canadian population by Statistics Canada
of approximately 35 million people by 2020, this would mean almost 11.7
million people will be living with diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes or
prediabetes by 2020 unless action is taken now.
The cost of diabetes today is $11.7 billion annually and should trends
continue, by 2020 that cost will rise to $16 billion annually.
Visit www.diabetes.ca to view the Report online or for more specific information about the
differences among Canada's various provinces and jurisdictions.
About the Canadian Diabetes Association
Across the country, the Canadian Diabetes Association is leading the
fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy
lives while we work to find a cure. Our community-based network of
supporters help us provide education and services to people living with
diabetes, advocate for our cause, break ground towards a cure and
translate research into practical applications. For more information,
please visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).
*The online poll was conducted between January 25-31, 2011 by Environics
Research Group among 1,004 Canadians who have never been diagnosed with
diabetes or prediabetes, as well as among 881 people living with
diabetes and 128 people living with prediabetes. The poll was supported
by an unrestricted educational grant provided by Novo Nordisk Canada.
**The Report, Diabetes: Canada at the Tipping Point - Charting a New Path, was supported by unrestricted educational grants provided by BD Medical
Canada, Eli Lilly Canada, Merck Frosst Canada, Novartis Canada, Pfizer
Canada, sanofi-aventis, and Novo Nordisk Canada.
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SOURCE Canadian Diabetes Association
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