About Diabetes

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The Canadian Diabetes Association

Established over 50 years ago, the Canadian Diabetes Association is a charitable organization that has grown to include a presence in more than 150 communities across the country. The Canadian Diabetes Association promotes the health of Canadians through diabetes research, education, service and advocacy.

Team Diabetes

Team Diabetes is the national activity fundraising program for the Canadian Diabetes Association. Team Diabetes participants increase public awareness of diabetes by acting as role models in their local communities and inspiring others to get active and involved. They create lifestyle changes reducing the risk of obesity and type-2 diabetes while raising funds for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

What is diabetes?

  • Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot produce insulin or cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
  • If left untreated or improperly managed, diabetes can result in a variety of complications:
    • Diabetes is a leading cause of adult blindness
    • Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney failure
    • The risk of stroke doubles after a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes
    • Four out of five Canadians with diabetes die of heart disease
    • Diabetes if the leading cause of limb amputations
    • Diabetes causes problems with erection and/or nerve damage

How many people have diabetes?

  • More than 2,250,000 Canadians are believed to have diabetes.
  • In BC alone, there are an estimated 250,000 people living with diabetes.
  • One in three children born today will be diagnosed with diabetes in their lifetime.
  • More than 3 million Canadians are expected to be living with diabetes by 2016.

What are the types of diabetes?

There are three main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in children and adolescents, occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. Ten per cent of Canadians with diabetes have type 1.
  • Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not effectively use the insulin that is produced. Type 2 usually develops in adulthood, although increasing numbers of children in high-risk populations are being diagnosed. Ninety per cent of Canadians with diabetes have type 2.
  • Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy.

What is the economic impact of diabetes?

  • 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.
  • Diabetes costs the Canadian economy an estimated $13.2 billion each year. These costs will rise to $15.6 billion by 2010 and $19.2 billion by 2020.
  • One out of ten admissions into an acute care hospital is directly related to diabetes or diabetes-related complications.

Why invest in diabetes?

  • Diabetes is the one disease where science proves that serious and costly complications can be prevented with aggressive treatment and management.
  • Research shows that for every dollar invested to help Canadians with diabetes (and their doctors) better manage their diabetes, the government will save four dollars a year from not having to treat diabetes-related complications in other parts of the healthcare system.

To learn more, visit: the Canadian Diabetes Association webpage.

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