Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, or when the insulin produced is not used effectively. Diabetes may lead to a reduced quality of life as well as complications such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.Note 1
In 2012, 6.5% (1.9 million) of Canadians aged 12 or older reported that they had diabetes. This was not a significant change from 2011, though is an increase from 5.8% in 2007. Survey respondents were asked to report diabetes that had been diagnosed by a health professional. Included in the rates were:
- type 1, which is usually diagnosed in children and adolescents;
- type 2, which usually develops in adulthood; and
- gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy.
Throughout the period from 2001 to 2012, males were more likely than females to report that they had diabetes. In 2012, the rates were 6.9% for males, compared with 6.1% for females (Chart 1).
In addition, Canadians 18 or older who were obese – based on respondent-reported height and weight and Health Canada guidelines on body mass index – were more likely than those who were not obese to report that they had been diagnosed with diabetes. In 2012, 14.7% of obese Canadians 18 or older had diabetes, compared with 5.1% of those who were not obese.
The rate of diabetes for males increased with age starting at 20 and up to age 65. For females, the rate increased with age starting at 12 and up to age 65. There is no significant difference between those aged 65 to 74 and those 75 or older (Chart 2).
Between ages 12 and 54, males and females had roughly the same rates of diabetes. Starting at age 55, males were more likely than females to be diabetic (Chart 2).
The proportion of residents who reported being diagnosed with diabetes was lower than the national average (6.5%) only in British Columbia (5.7%).
The proportion of residents who reported being diagnosed with diabetes was higher than the national average only in Nova Scotia (8.6%).
Residents of the other provinces and territoriesNote 2 reported rates that were about the same as the national average.
Because diabetes is strongly related to age, provinces and territories with disproportionately ‘younger’ populations are expected to have lower diabetes rates than the national average. The reverse is true for provinces and territories with ‘older’ populations. To remove the effect of different age distributions when making provincial comparisons, please refer to the CANSIM table 105-0503 for the age standardized rates.
- 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. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/studies-etudes/82-003/archive/1997/3477-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).
- Note that the rates for Yukon and the Northwest Territories had coefficients of variation between 16.6% and 33.3%; interpret with caution. The rate for Nunavut had a coefficient of variation greater than 33.3%; this data is too unreliable to publish.
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. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/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. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2003/6599-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).
Ng, Edward, McGrail, Kimberlyn M., Johnson, Jeffrey A. 2010. “Hospitalization risk in a type 2 diabetes cohort.” Health Reports. Vol. 21, no. 3. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 1-7. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2010003/article/11326-eng.pdf (accessed April 7, 2011).
Ross, Nancy A, Gilmour, Heather, Dasgupta, Kaberi. 2010. “14-year diabetes incidence: The role of socio-economic status.” Health Reports. Vol. 21, no. 3. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 19‑28. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2010003/article/11325-eng.pdf (accessed April 7, 2011).
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