Percentage of population with self-reported diabetes

What it measures

Dimension: Physical Health Conditions

This indicator is taken from Statistics Canada's annual Canadian Community Health Survey, and it reports the percentage of individuals, 12 years of age or older, who have been diagnosed by a health professional with diabetes. The official definition by Statistics Canada on what they measure is this:

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. Survey respondents were asked to report if they had been diagnosed with diabetes by a health professional. Included in the reports:

  • Type 1, which is usually diagnosed in children and adolescents;

  • Type 2, which usually develops in adulthood; and

  • gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy.

Diabetes is a growing public health concern, and is an important indicator of physical health because Type 2 is strongly connected to diet and lifestyle factors. Data from the Nurses Health Study suggests that the majority of Type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented by improved nutrition, exercise and a healthy weight.

Why this matters

Diabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of acquiring other health problems such as heart disease, blindness and kidney failure. As such, low diabetes prevelance is an indicator of a healthy population.

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