October 15, 2014

Toronto, Ont. – An estimated one million Canadians live with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, underlining the importance of raising awareness of its risk factors.

To mark Diabetes Awareness Month this November, the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) is unveiling its “Don’t Be Risky” campaign. Canadians are encouraged to visit the DontBeRisky.ca website and fill out a CANRISK test to identify their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

CANRISK is the Canadian Diabetes Risk Questionnaire, developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada to help Canadians determine their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

“Knowing the risk factors for diabetes will provide Canadians with information to act and potentially lower their risk, in consultation with their primary care provider,” says Rick Blickstead, President and CEO of the CDA. “Early diagnosis can ensure that individuals living with undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes, and at risk of diabetes receive the treatment they need. We encourage Canadians to participate in this campaign and share it with their social networks to spread the word about the importance of prevention, awareness and early diagnosis.”

All those who visit DontBeRisky.ca and complete the CANRISK test from Oct. 15 to Nov. 30 can enter a draw to win one of three Money for Life experiences – including a grand prize of a $5,000 financial portfolio of investment and/or insurance products – courtesy of Sun Life Financial.  For answers to frequently asked questions about the campaign, visit diabetes.ca/about-diabetes/take-the-test/frequently-asked-questions.

In addition, Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. will donate $1 to the CDA for each test completed.

Some type 2 diabetes risk factors

  • Having a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
  • Being a member of a high-risk group (Aboriginal, Hispanic, South Asian, Asian, or African descent)
  • Having health complications associated with diabetes
  • Having given birth to a baby that weighed more than nine pounds at birth or having had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having high cholesterol or other fats in the blood
  • Being overweight, especially if that weight is mostly carried around the stomach

About type 2 diabetes and prediabetes

Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes usually develop in adulthood, although more children and adolescents are being diagnosed. Prediabetes means a person’s blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Nearly half of those with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes. Research shows that some long-term diabetes complications such as heart disease and nerve damage may begin during prediabetes, but the risk of developing diabetes can be reduced by nearly 60 per cent through lifestyle modifications. If left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes is a leading cause of life-threatening complications, including heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation. Currently, 20 people are diagnosed with diabetes every hour of every day.

About the CDA

More than nine million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes, and the CDA is the registered charity that helps them manage their disease as effectively as possible while also seeking to help Canadians in preventing or delaying the development of type 2 diabetes. The CDA:

  • offers a wide array of support services to members of the public;
  • offers resources to health-care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
  • advocates to governments, schools, workplaces and others on behalf of people with diabetes; and,
  • funds research on better treatments and to find a cure.

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

About Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.

Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care and biopharmaceuticals. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the medical profession and society. Novo Nordisk's business is driven by the Triple Bottom Line: a commitment to economic success, environmental soundness, and social responsibility to employees and customers. For more information, visit www.novonordisk.ca.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2014 the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $684 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.  

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars.


For more information about the “Don’t Be Risky” campaign or to arrange an interview, contact:

Pilar Iglesias
Manager, Communication
Canadian Diabetes Association
Telephone: 416-408-7114
Cell: 416-333-2649

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