Canada's Rate of Diabetes Passes 2030 Predicted Level Already

As reported by Reuters, rates of diabetes in Canada's most populous province have already zoomed past what was predicted for 2030, which suggests the global epidemic will be far worse than feared, researchers reported on Thursday.


 

Fri Mar 2, 2007 12:00 PM EST147
    

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rates of diabetes in Canada's most populous province have already zoomed past what was predicted for 2030, which suggests the global epidemic will be far worse than feared, researchers reported on Thursday.

They found a 69 percent increase in the rate of the disease in Ontario between 1995 and 2005 -- far beyond the 60 percent global predicted increase for 2030 and above rates projected for Canada by then.

Lorraine Lipscombe of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto and colleagues examined health-care databases for Ontario, the most-populated and ethnically diverse Canadian province.

"In view of this linear growth in prevalence, more than 10 percent of the adult population of Ontario will be diagnosed with diabetes before 2010," they wrote in their report, published in the Lancet medical journal.

"If similar trends are occurring throughout developed countries, then the size of the emerging diabetes epidemic is far greater than anticipated."

The Lancet said in a commentary that this could have implications for World Health Organization predictions.

"WHO has predicted a 39 percent rise in the worldwide prevalence of diabetes between 2000 and 2030, but (the study) indicates that this figure might be a gross underestimation," the commentary reads.

Type-2 diabetes is associated with obesity, poor diet and a lack of exercise. It has reached epidemic proportions in many developed countries as people eat a richer diet and exercise less.

Type-2 diabetes is different from type-1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, which has nothing to do with lifestyle and is much less common.

In type-2 diabetes, the body stops using insulin properly and blood sugar, or glucose, levels rise. The glucose damages cells and can lead to blindness, heart disease, tissue damage that can force amputations, and death.

Lipscombe's team found the prevalence of diabetes rose from 5.2 percent in 1995 to 8.8 percent in 2005.

"A 31 percent increase occurred in yearly incidence over 6 years, from 6.6 per 1,000 in 1997 to 8.2 per 1,000 in 2003," they wrote.

"Our data are important to enable policymakers to adequately prepare for the increasing burden of diabetes on health-care resources," they added.

"Rising rates of obesity could be a cause of this striking growth and, accordingly, effective public-health interventions to manage and prevent obesity are sorely needed."

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