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Diabetes Storm About to Hit Province (Manitoba) PDF Print E-mail



… .Economic Burden Serious in Manitoba

A "diabetes storm" is poised to rip through the province, a multimillion-dollar health epidemic expected to involve a staggering 48 per cent increase in the number of Manitobans living with the potentially deadly disease by the end of the decade.

That’s the dire warning  Miachael Cloutier, president of the Canadian Diabetes Association, gave MLAs Wednesday as he talked not only about the health crisis for Manitoba, but also about the economic crises the disease entails.

"The economic burden of diabetes in Manitoba is serious and threatens the sustainability of our health-care system and the provincial economy," Cloutier told the forum at the legislature.

According to the association’s figures, Manitoba is expected to face a 48 per cent increase in the number of people living with diabetes by the end of the decade, with the number of confirmed diabetics rising to more than 139,000 cases (10.1 per cent of the population) by 2020 from the current level of 94,000 cases (7.6 per cent of the population).

Manitoba already has the highest rate of diabetes on the Prairies and the "growing epidemic" will worsen dramatically unless action is taken quickly, Cloutier said.

He noted that after factoring in the number of pre-diabetics, whose blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes, 25.2 per cent of Manitoba’s population will likely be impacted by the disease by 2020.

In addition to the human cost, the looming economic impact of the "diabetes storm" is alarming.  According to the association’s analysis, the disease currently costs Manitoba $498 million annually.  Unless the government takes action, it warns that figure will jump to $639 million per year.

Cloutier said Manitobans battling diabetes are forced to deal with the highest level of out-of-pocket expenditures in the country outside of the Atlantic provinces, averaging over $2,500 per year.

The growing health and economic crisis stems from an explosion in Type 2 diabetes, which the association says accounts for at least 90% of all diabetes diagnoses.

Aboriginal Canadians are three to five times more likely than the general population to develop Tye 2 diabetes.

The staggering increase has been blamed on a host of factors — an aging population, rising obesity rates and increasingly sedentary lifestyles.  The vast majority of those diagnosed with the disease are overweight and inactive.

Canada has the third-highest rate of mortality due to diabetes among its peer countries, Cloutier said, noting that 6,000 Canadians die each month from diabetes or its effects.  "This means that every year, diabetes takes approximately 72,000 people — or more than the combined populations of Brandon, Thompson and Portage la Prairie," he said.

Doug Speirs
Winnipeg Free Press
Thursday, February 10, 2011

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Also see previous, related articles in our Website:  
"How Reducing Inflammation Can Prolong Your Life" and "Elimination Diet - 30 Day Challenge to Remove Gluten, Dairy, Caffeine, Sugar and Alcohol"





 
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