The Canadian Diabetes Association says urgent government action is needed to combat soaring diabetes rates in Canada.
In the 2015 Report On Diabetes, the CDA says twice as many Canadians live with the disease now as compared to 15 years ago and is expected to grow by another 40 per cent by 2025.
Diabetes is disproportionately prevalent in Aboriginal communities – three to five times higher, in fact – due to inaccessibility to nutritious, affordable foods and a lack of culturally appropriate diabetes programs that are sensitive to traditional practices and languages.
“We have a responsibility to address the misunderstanding and discrimination experienced by people living with diabetes,” said Dr. Jan Hux, Chief Science Officer for the CDA in a statement.
“Stigma and discrimination can compromise the ability of people with diabetes to take care of themselves, and in turn can lead to the development of serious complications.”
Stigma is so strong, says the CDA, that 33 per cent of people with diabetes are hesitant to disclose to other people they have the disease.
Many people living with diabetes aren’t receiving the proper care they need, and a large proportion of them are low income, leaving them without insurance for eye and dental care, specialist foot care, prescription medications and supplies.
Diabetes currently costs our healthcare system $3 billion a year and more than 10 million Canadians live with the disease.
To read the full report, click here.