Diabetes rates in Newfoundland and Labrador highest in Canada
Canadian Diabetes Association Releases Newfoundland and Labrador Diabetes Cost Report
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador (November 25, 2010) – Today, the Canadian Diabetes Association released the findings from its Newfoundland and Labrador Diabetes Cost Model, stating that Newfoundland and Labrador currently has the highest rate of diabetes prevalence in Canada, with future forecasts continuing to grow at an alarming rate.
“The economic burden of diabetes in Newfoundland and Labrador is staggering and threatens the health of tens of thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, the sustainability of the healthcare system and the future economic prosperity of the province,” said Michael Cloutier, president and CEO of the Canadian Diabetes Association. “It’s estimated the direct and indirect financial impact of diabetes in Newfoundland and Labrador currently costs the province $254 million per year. By 2020, these costs will increase to over $322 million per year if we don’t take action.”
The economic burden of diabetes represents only a part of the province’s challenge. The human cost of the disease is also reaching epidemic proportions in the province. The Newfoundland and Labrador Diabetes Cost Model estimates that there are currently 47,000 people, or over 9 per cent of the population, diagnosed with diabetes in Newfoundland and Labrador – increasing to more than 73,000, or 14.4 per cent of the population, by 2020. These prevalence rates, which are the highest in the country do not include people undiagnosed with diabetes, gestational 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 type 2 diabetes.
“By 2020, 32 per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will be living either with diabetes or prediabetes,” said Cloutier. “Addressing this public health issue will require a dramatic 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 recommends the government of Newfoundland and Labrador move towards establishing a provincial Diabetes Program with the specific responsibility and accountability for addressing diabetes issues in the province.
Provincial diabetes cost model reports have also been released for New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. This week, the Association also released the Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia Diabetes Cost Model reports. Prevalence rates of diabetes throughout Atlantic Canada are the highest in the country.
About the Newfoundland and Labrador Cost Model
The Newfoundland and Labrador 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
Today, more than nine million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes. 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).
For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Canadian Diabetes Association
C: (902) 221-1162
Manager, National Media Relations & External Communications
Canadian Diabetes Association
T: (416) 408-7071
C: (647) 292-9641