Alarming Rise in Diabetes Rates Threaten British Columbia’s Economic Prosperity
Canadian Diabetes Association Releases BC Diabetes Cost Model Report
VANCOUVER, BC (October 27, 2010) – Today, the Canadian Diabetes Association released the findings from its British Columbia Diabetes Cost Model, forecasting a 62 per cent increase in diagnoses of the disease in British Columbia – the second highest rate increase in Canada. The model shows that without action, the cost and prevalence of diabetes in the province will continue to increase substantially over the next 10 years.
“The economic burden of diabetes in British Columbia is staggering and threatens the sustainability of our healthcare system and the provincial economy,” said Michael Cloutier, President and CEO, Canadian Diabetes Association. “It’s estimated the direct and indirect financial impact of diabetes in British Columbia currently costs the province $1.3 billion per year. By 2020, these costs will increase to $1.9 billion per year if we don’t take action.”
The economic burden of diabetes represents only a part of BC’s challenge. The human cost of the disease is also reaching epidemic proportions in the province. The BC Diabetes Cost Model estimates that there are currently 338,000 people, or 7.4 per cent of the population, diagnosed with diabetes in BC – increasing to more than 548,000 people, or 10.3 per cent of the population, by 2020. These figures do not include people undiagnosed with diabetes or people living with prediabetes, where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for an individual to be diagnosed with the disease.
“By 2020, over 30 per cent of British Columbians will be living either with diabetes or prediabetes,” said Cloutier. “Turning the tide against diabetes requires a shift in government approach, private sector involvement and broad-based personal and societal change.”
In order to offset the burden caused by diabetes, the Canadian Diabetes Association is encouraging the BC Government to continue with an enhanced approach to diabetes management through augmenting current diabetes policies and programs.
This approach would include an on-going focus on high-risk populations while placing increased focus on secondary prevention efforts to ensure greater access to medications, devices and supplies necessary to prevent or delay costly diabetes complications.
This is the fourth provincial diabetes cost model report released by the Canadian Diabetes Association. Reports have also been released for New Brunswick, Ontario and Alberta. The Association continues to roll out diabetes cost models for all provinces and territories.
About the British Columbia Diabetes Cost Model
The British Columbia Diabetes Cost Model was created for the Association by the Centre for Spatial Economics based on the Canadian Diabetes Cost Model developed by Informetrica Limited and made possible by an unrestricted educational grant provided by Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. The two main sources of data used for the estimate and forecasts come from the National Diabetes Surveillance System (NDSS) and Health Canada’s study titled the Economic Burden of Illness in Canada (EBIC). The Model aimed to integrate the administrative prevalence and incidence estimates from NDSS with the economic cost estimates from EBIC.
The Model supports analysis of the sensitivity of the prevalence and cost estimates to changes in demographic data, incidence and mortality rates by age and sex, and the average annual number of net general practitioner and specialist visits by people with diabetes. Assumptions made in this model are conservative and may understate the prevalence and cost of diabetes in the future, rather than to overstate it.
About the Canadian Diabetes Association 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. We are supported in our efforts by a community-based network of volunteers, employees, healthcare professionals, researchers and partners. By providing education and services, advocating on behalf of people with diabetes, supporting research, and translating research into practical applications - we are delivering on our mission. For more information, please visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).
For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Marketing & Communications Associate
Canadian Diabetes Association
T: (604) 732-1331, ext. 241
NATIONAL Public Relations
T: (604) 691-7394