Diabetes Facts

Diabetes in Canada

  • Approximately 5.3 million Canadians have diabetes
  • It is estimated that 5.7 million have prediabetes
  • 50% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes
  • A person with diabetes can face direct costs for medication and diabetes supplies ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 per year.
  • By 2020, diabetes is expected to cost the Canadian healthcare system $16.9 billion annually

Type 2 diabetes and Health Risks

  • Individuals with type 2 diabetes are 3 times more likely to be hospitalized due to cardiovascular disease
  • People with type 2 diabetes are 3 times more likely to require hospital admission with longer lengths of stay
  • Type 2 diabetes reduces lifetime by 5-15 years (1 in 10 deaths in Canada can be attributed to type 2 diabetes)
  • Risk of blindness/vision loss is 25 times more likely for individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes

Lifestyle changes and type 2 diabetes

  • Physical activity can help prevent blood sugars from building up in the blood
  • Approximately three quarters of Canadians with type 2 diabetes are not active enough to achieve health benefits from their exercise
  • Regular aerobic exercise and making healthy diet changes can lower the risk developing type 2 diabetes
  • Weight loss can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Lifestyle intervention programs that include exercise, diet changes, and weight loss have been shown to lower type 2 diabetes risk by up to 58% as compared to leading pharmaceutical drugs, such as metformin

Additional information

Diabetes Canada

American Diabetes Association

Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada

The cost of Diabetes in Canada. Diabetes Canada. (2017)

Dillman, C. J., Shields, C. A., Fowles, J. R., Perry, A., Murphy, R. J. L., & Dunbar, P. (2010). Including Physical Activity Exercise in Diabetes Management: Diabetes Educators’ Perceptions of Their Own Abilities the Abilities of Their Patients. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 34(3), 218–226

Public Health Agency of Canada. (2011). Diabetes in Canada: Facts and figures from a public health perspective. Ottawa, Ont.: Public Health Agency of Canada