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Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, or when the insulin produced is not used effectively. Diabetes may lead to reduced quality of life as well as complications such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.1
In 2009, 6.0% of Canadians aged 12 and older reported that they had diabetes. This was about the same rate as in 2008, but a significant increase since 2005. Survey respondents were asked to report diabetes that has been diagnosed by a doctor, so Type I, which is usually diagnosed in children and adolescents, Type II, which usually develops in adulthood, and gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy, were all included in these rates.
Throughout the period from 2001 to 2009, males were more likely than females to report that they had diabetes—6.7% of males in 2009, compared with 5.3% of females (Chart 1).
Percentage diagnosed with diabetes, by sex, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2001 to 2009
Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Diabetes rates increased with each successive age group. Within the population aged 44 and younger differences between the sexes were not significant, but by age 45 males were more likely than females to be diabetic (Chart 2).
Percentage diagnosed with diabetes, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2009
Note: E Use with caution (coefficient of variation 16.6% to 33.3%).
Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2009.
The proportion of residents who reported diabetes was higher than the national average in three provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, 8.1%; Nova Scotia, 7.7%; and Ontario, 6.4%. Only in Alberta (4.8%) was the rate lower than the national average.
Because diabetes is strongly related to age, provinces and territories with a disproportionately 'younger' population would be expected to have lower diabetes rates than the national average. The reverse would be true for provinces and territories with 'older' populations. To remove the effect of different age distributions, the diabetes rates were recalculated as if the age groups in each province and territory were the same as at the national age distribution. When this was done, only in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario did residents report age-standardized diabetes rates that were higher than the national rate. The age-standardized rate in British Columbia was lower than the national average.
1. James, Robert, T. Kue Young, Cameron A. Mustard and Jamie Blanchard. 1998. "The health of Canadians with diabetes." Health Reports. Vol. 9, no. 3. Winter. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 47–52. /studies-etudes/82-003/archive/1997/3477-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).
James, Robert, T. Kue Young, Cameron A. Mustard and Jamie Blanchard. 1998. "The health of Canadians with diabetes." Health Reports. Vol. 9, no. 3. Winter. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 47–52.
/studies-etudes/82-003/archive/1997/3477-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).
Millar, Wayne, J., and T. Kue Young. 2003. "Tracking diabetes: Prevalence, incidence and risk factors." Health Reports. Vol. 14, no. 3. May. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 35–47. /studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2003/6599-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).
Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0501.
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