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New data from the 2019 Diabetes Canada Cost Model finds that rates of diabetes and prediabetes continue to rise. Currently, one in three Canadians has diabetes* or prediabetes. Previous research[1] shows that those 20 years of age today face a 50 per cent chance of developing diabetes in their lifetime. Diabetes Canada also commissioned a national Ipsos public opinion poll. Among this data, general knowledge of the disease was uncovered. The study showed:

  • Less than 50 per cent of all Canadians can identify less than half of the early warning signs of diabetes
  • Only 33 per cent of Canadians are aware that stroke is a complication of diabetes
  • Only 40 per cent of Canadians identified heart disease is a complication of diabetes

In an effort to increase awareness of diabetes and its risks, on April 2, Sun Life Financial joined Diabetes Canada in launching a national campaign to raise awareness of the risks of type 2 diabetes and to encourage Canadians to take the Diabetes Canada Test at The campaign, which runs through the month of April, will connect with Canadians through various digital platforms, with creative highlighting the power of knowing the risks.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 per cent of diabetes cases, and increasingly in children.

“The high prevalence of type 2 diabetes is alarming and calls for urgent action,” said Dr. Jan Hux, President and CEO, Diabetes Canada. “Knowing whether you are at risk for diabetes or prediabetes and the understanding there are actions you can take to prevent type 2 diabetes can and will improve the lives of Canadians. We are pleased that Sun Life Financial is partnering with us to reach as many Canadians as possible,”

The campaign is expected to result in more than 40,000 Canadians taking the online diabetes test.

“Taking the test and learning about the risk-factors of this growing disease, empowers Canadians to take control of their health and wellness,” said Jacques Goulet, President, Sun Life Financial Canada. “Our partnership with Diabetes Canada to promote this important test is directly aligned to our purpose of helping our Clients achieve a lifetime of financial security and live healthier lives. The test is free, simple and short – we encourage all Canadians to invest a few minutes in their health by taking the test.”

Complications related to diabetes are serious and can be life-threatening. Annually, people living with diabetes account for:

  • 30 per cent of strokes,
  • 40 per cent of heart attacks,
  • 50 per cent of kidney failure requiring dialysis and
  • 70 per cent of non-traumatic amputations in Canada each year.

*Inclusive of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

[1] Lifetime risk of diabetes among First Nations and non-First Nations people, Tanvir Chowdhury Turin, Nathalie Saad, Min Jun, Marcello Tonelli, Zhihai Ma, Cheryl Carmelle Marie Barnabe, Braden Manns and Brenda Hemmelgarn CMAJ September 19, 2016 cmaj.150787; DOI:


Sun Life Financial in the community
At Sun Life Financial, we are committed to building sustainable, healthier communities for life and we're proud to hold the Caring Company designation from Imagine Canada. Community wellness is an important part of our sustainability commitment and we believe that by actively supporting the communities in which we live and work, we can help build a positive environment for our Clients, Employees, advisors and shareholders. Our philanthropic support focuses on two key areas: health, with an emphasis on diabetes awareness, prevention, care and research initiatives through our Team Up Against DiabetesTM platform; and arts and culture, through our award-winning Making the Arts More AccessibleTM program. We also partner with sports properties in key markets to further our commitment to healthy and active living. Our Employees and advisors take great pride in volunteering over 29,000 hours each year and contribute to making life brighter for individuals and families across Canada. Read more about Sun Life Financial in the community.

Author: Kathleen Powderley

Category Tags: Announcements;

Region: National

About Diabetes Canada

Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:

  • Resources for health-care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
  • Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
  • Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

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