The prevalence and costs of diabetes
A global epidemic
An estimated 285 million people worldwide are affected by diabetes. With a further 7 million people developing diabetes each year, this number is expected to hit 438 million by 2030.
The changing face of diabetes in Canada
Today, more than 9 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes.
Approximately 10% of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. The number of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing dramatically due to a number of factors:
- The population is aging.
- Obesity rates are rising.
- Canadian lifestyles are increasingly sedentary.
- Aboriginal people are three to five times more likely than the general population to develop type 2 diabetes.
- Almost 80% of new Canadians come from populations that are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes. These include people of Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian or African descent.
The costs of diabetes
The personal costs of diabetes may include a reduced quality of life and the increased likelihood of complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, amputation and erectile dysfunction.
- Approximately 80% of people with diabetes will die as a result of heart disease or stroke.
- Diabetes is a contributing factor in the deaths of approximately 41,500 Canadians each year.
- Canadian adults with diabetes are twice as likely to die prematurely, compared to people without diabetes.
- Life expectancy for people with type 1 diabetes may be shortened by as much as 15 years. Life expectancy for people with type 2 diabetes may be shortened by 5 to 10 years.
The financial burden of diabetes and its complications is enormous.
- People with diabetes incur medical costs that are two to three times higher than those without diabetes. A person with diabetes can face direct costs for medication and supplies ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 a year.
- By 2020, it’s estimated that diabetes will cost the Canadian healthcare system $16.9 billion a year.
Prevention of type 2 diabetes
To date there is no proven way to prevent type 1 diabetes. The onset of type 2 diabetes may be prevented or delayed, through increased physical activity, healthy eating and weight loss. Taking these steps now can lead to a healthier future.
- In a large study, people at risk of type 2 diabetes were able to reduce their risk by 58% by exercising moderately for 30 minutes a day and by losing 5 to 7% of their body weight. In people age 60 and older, the risk was cut by almost 71%. Other large studies have shown similar results in reducing risk.