The Harsh Reality - Diabetes is a Global Pandemic
Today, more than 9 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes - a condition that, if left unchecked, puts you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This means that nearly 1 in 4 Canadians either has diabetes or prediabetes. More than 20 people are diagnosed with the disease every hour of every day.
The number of people with type 2 diabetes is rising dramatically due to a number of factors:
- An aging population - the risk of developing type 2 diabetes rises with age;
- Rising obesity rates - obesity dramatically increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes;
- Increasingly sedentary lifestyles are contributing to rising obesity rates, particularly in younger Canadians, which can lead to type 2 diabetes;
- People of Aboriginal descent are 3 to 5 times more likely than the general population to develop type 2 diabetes; and
- Almost 80% of new Canadians are from populations that have a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. These include people of Hispanic, Asian, South Asian, or African descent.
The serious complications
Diabetes can lead to serious complications and premature death:
- 80% of Canadians with diabetes die from a heart attack or a stroke;
- 42% of new kidney dialysis patients in 2004 had diabetes.
- Diabetes is the single leading cause of blindness in Canada;
- 7 of 10 non-traumatic limb amputations are the result of diabetes complications;
- 25% of people with diabetes suffer from depression;
- The life expectancy for people with type 1 diabetes may be shortened by as much as 15 years; and
- The life expectancy for people with type 2 diabetes may be shortened by 5 to 10 years.
The cost of diabetes in Canada
Not only is diabetes a personal crisis for people with the disease, it is also a tremendous financial burden for the Canadian healthcare system and society as a whole. Diabetes currently costs our healthcare system and our economy $11.7 billion and will cost Canadians about $16 billion annually by 2020.
How you can help
These numbers only paint a small picture of what people living with diabetes experience on a daily basis. Now, more than ever, your support is needed to combat this serious life-threatening disease.
There are many ways you can help us lead the fight against diabetes. You can set a fitness or fundraising goal by joining Team Diabetes, fundraise through My Diabetes Fundraiser, make a reusable clothing or household item donation through Clothesline®, volunteer or simply donate to our cause.