Heart Institute Launches Canada's First In-Hospital Screening for Diabetes

OTTAWA, June 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) is testing Canada's first in-hospital program to screen and treat patients for diabetes, a growing epidemic in much of the Western world. The program is expected to lead to new ways to identify and cope with one of the most important risk factors for heart disease, particularly in women.

Half of North Americans with diabetes are undiagnosed. An estimated 3 million Canadians have diabetes, double the number a decade ago. Up to 7 in 10 diabetes deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease. Diabetes costs the health care system an estimated $10 billion annually, a figure that is expected to rise to more than $16 billion within 10 years.

"Diabetes is a serious health crisis and its impact on medical care costs makes for an urgent need to develop strategies for early detection and management. The Heart Institute's approach is to create an early-warning system that will identify and quickly treat patients then ensure they have proper care after leaving hospital," said Bob Reid, PhD, Associate Director, Minto Prevention and Rehabilitation Centre, UOHI.

The screening program, known as the Ottawa Model for Undiagnosed Diabetes, mimics the Heart Institute's hugely acclaimed model for smoking cessation - a systematic, clinical approach to identifying smokers, helping treat their addiction and providing follow up to help remain smoke-free. The Ottawa Model in smoking has a quit rate of 50%, has reached more than 20,000 patients in centres across Canada and is drawing international attention.

With the new screening program, all patients admitted to the Heart Institute are tested for hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels), tracked and treated in hospital then referred for follow-up if they are positively diagnosed. Patients identified with prediabetes are counselled and put in the care of their family physician.

Preliminary data from the Ottawa Model for Undiagnosed Diabetes shows 10% of all patients hospitalized with heart disease have diabetes and don't know it. The program is expected to reach 250 patients over seven months and sets the stage for the development of a national model that can be applied in hospitals across Canada and adapted to other chronic conditions.

About UOHI

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is Canada's largest and foremost cardiovascular health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing heart disease. We deliver high-tech care with a personal touch, shape the way cardiovascular medicine is practiced, and revolutionize cardiac treatment and understanding. We build knowledge through research and translate discoveries into advanced care. We serve the local, national and international community, and are pioneering a new era in heart health. For more information, visit www.ottawaheart.ca

SOURCE Ottawa Heart Institute, University of Ottawa

For further information: For further information: Marlene Orton, Senior Manager, Public Affairs, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, (613) 761-4427, morton@ottawaheart.ca

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Ottawa Heart Institute, University of Ottawa

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