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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 a reduced quality of life as well as complications such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease1.
In 2011, 6.1% of Canadians aged 12 or older reported that they had diabetes, unchanged since 2007. Survey respondents were asked to report diabetes that had been diagnosed by a doctor. 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 2011, males were more likely than females to report that they had diabetes. In 2011, the rates were 6.7% for males, compared with 5.6% 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 2011, 13.9% of obese Canadians 18 or older had diabetes, compared with 4.8% of those who were not obese.
Percentage diagnosed with diabetes, by sex, household population aged 12 or older, Canada, 2001 to 2011
Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
Diabetes rates increased with each successive age group until age 65. There is no significant difference between those aged 65 to 74 and those 75 or older (Chart 2).
Under age 35, females were more likely than males to be diabetic. There were no differences between the sexes for those aged 35 to 54, but by age 55 males were more likely than females to be diabetic (Chart 2).
Percentage diagnosed with diabetes, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 or older, Canada, 2011
E Use with caution (coefficient of variation 16.6% to 33.3%).
Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2011.
The proportion of residents who reported diabetes was higher than the national average in four provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador (11.1%), Nova Scotia (8.6%), New Brunswick (8.6%) and Ontario (6.5%). Comparatively, diabetes rates were lower than the national average in Alberta (4.7%), British Columbia (5.0%) and the Northwest Territories (3.3%2). The diabetes rates were at approximately the national average in Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Yukon2. Note that Nunavut data is not reported3.
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, 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, Quebec and British Columbia were the only provinces and territories with age-standardized rates lower than the national average. Alberta and Northwest Territories joined Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Yukon in the group of provinces and territories whose diabetes rates were about the same as the national average.
- 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. pages 47–52. /studies-etudes/82-003/archive/1997/3477-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).
- Use with caution (coefficient of variation 16.6% to 33.3%).
- Too unreliable to be reported (coefficient of variation greater than 33.3%).
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. pages 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. pages 35–47. /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. pages 1-7. /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. pages 19-28. /pub/82-003-x/2010003/article/11325-eng.pdf (accessed April 7, 2011).
Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0501.
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