Survey also finds nearly 60 per cent haven't been screened for the
disease within the last year
TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - Fewer than eight per cent of Canadians can
identify all of the key risk factors for diabetes, according to data
released today by Sun Life Financial to mark the start of Diabetes
Awareness Month in Canada.
According to the 2013 Sun Life Canadian Health Index™, conducted by
Ipsos Reid, nearly 90 per cent of Canadians misidentified at least one
risk factor for diabetes, a disease that has been called the epidemic
of the 21st century by the World Health Organization.
Risk factors include:
A parent or sibling who has diabetes
Elevated blood glucose levels
Elevated blood pressure
"Diabetes is a serious health issue and there's a need to raise
awareness about the risk factors to help prevent this disease," says
Mary De Paoli, Executive Vice-President, Public & Corporate Affairs and
Chief Marketing Officer, Sun Life Financial. "Since last fall, Sun Life
has committed $10 million to organizations across the country to help
educate and empower Canadians to join us in preventing and managing
With fewer than eight per cent of Canadians accurately identifying all
the risk factors for diabetes and almost 60 per cent not being checked
for the disease within the past 12 months, medical experts say there is
a need for an increase in public education. Statistics indicate that
nearly 1,000,000 people have diabetes in Canada and don't even know it.1 By 2020, it is estimated one in three Canadians will have diabetes or
"Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, amputations, kidney failure
and cardiovascular disease," says Dr. Gary Lewis, Sun Life Financial
Chair in Diabetes at University Health Network and Director of the
Banting and Best Diabetes Centre at the University of Toronto. "We are
in a unique position to educate Canadians in helping them understand
how to prevent diabetes while slowing the advance of its related
Sun Life Financial is also partnering with hockey legend Doug Gilmour to
raise awareness about this disease by sponsoring Dougieball 2, a charitable event in Toronto on November 12, 2013 to raise funds
and support for diabetes research. Doug Gilmour lost his dad to
diabetes and he has family members living with this disease.
For more key findings and results on the 2013 Sun Life Canadian Health
Index TM, visit www.sunlife.ca/CanadianHealthIndex. For more information on Sun Life Financial's commitment and donations
to raise awareness and prevent diabetes, visit www.sunlife.ca/diabetes.
About the survey
The Sun Life Canadian Health Index™ measures the attitudes of Canadians
towards healthy lifestyles and reports these in the form of an index.
The fourth annual Sun Life Canadian Health Index™ is based on the
findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between May 10-24, 2013. A
sample of 2,400 Canadians from 18 to 80 years of age from the Ipsos
Reid Canadian panel was interviewed online.
Ipsos Reid employed weighting to balance demographics and ensure that
the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population
according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate
the sample universe.
The precision of Ipsos Reid online surveys is measured using a
credibility interval. In this case, the survey is accurate to within +
/ - 2 percentage points had all Canadian adults been polled. All sample
surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including,
but not limited to methodological change, coverage error and
About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services
organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth
accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate
customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in key
markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United
Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India,
China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of
June 30, 2013, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total
assets under management of $591 billion. For more information, please
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and
Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars.
1 Canadian Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.ca.
SOURCE: Sun Life Financial Canada
For further information:
Sun Life Financial