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Saskatchewan Has Highest Prevalence of Diabetes and Pre-diabetes in the Prairies

  • Synopsis: Published: 2011-02-08 - Saskatchewan currently faces the highest combined prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in the Prairies. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Canadian Diabetes Association.

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Saskatchewan faces the highest prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in the Prairies - Canadian Diabetes Association Releases Saskatchewan Diabetes Cost Model Report.

Today, the Canadian Diabetes Association released the findings from its Saskatchewan Diabetes Cost Model, indicating that Saskatchewan currently faces the highest combined prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in the Prairies. The model shows that without action, the cost and prevalence of diabetes in the province will continue to increase substantially over the next 10 years.

"The economic burden of diabetes in Saskatchewan is serious and threatens the sustainability of our healthcare system and the provincial economy," said Michael Cloutier, President and CEO, Canadian Diabetes Association. "It's estimated the direct and indirect financial impact of diabetes in Saskatchewan currently costs the province $419 million per year. By 2020, these costs will increase to $532 million per year if we don't take action."

The economic burden of diabetes represents only a part of Saskatchewan's challenge. The human cost of the disease is also reaching epidemic proportions in the province. The Saskatchewan Diabetes Cost Model estimates that there are currently 75,000 people, or 7 per cent of the population, diagnosed with diabetes in Saskatchewan - increasing to 111,000 people, or close to 10 per cent of the population by 2020, representing a 48% increase. When you add the number of people living with pre-diabetes, where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for an individual to be diagnosed with the disease, it is estimated that 25.8% of the population of Saskatchewan will be living with diabetes or pre-diabetes by the end of the decade.

"Turning the tide against diabetes requires a shift in government approach, private sector involvement and broad-based personal and societal change," said Cloutier. "With over 1 in 4 people in Saskatchewan living with either diabetes or pre-diabetes by the end of this decade, the time to act is now."

In order to offset the burden caused by diabetes, the Canadian Diabetes Association has recommended that the Saskatchewan government adjust its current diabetes strategy to reflect a broad-based secondary prevention strategy including greater access to diabetes medications, devices and supplies in order to prevent or delay costly diabetes complications, and increased access to the medical specialists required to help manage the disease.

The Saskatchewan Diabetes Cost Model will be addressed today between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. during a press conference hosted by the Canadian Diabetes Association with President and CEO, Michael Cloutier, in the Verdi Room of the Delta Regina Hotel, 1919 Saskatchewan Avenue.

Diabetes cost models have also been released for British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

About the Saskatchewan Diabetes Cost Model -The Saskatchewan Diabetes Cost Model was created for the Association by the Center 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 pre-diabetes. 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 or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

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