The Vice-President of Science and Policy at Diabetes Canada considers diabetes a large and looming epidemic.
Dr. Seema Nagpal says one in three Canadians is impacted by diabetes or pre-diabetes.
It contributes to 30 per cent of strokes, 40 per cent of heart attacks, half of all kidney failures requiring dialysis and 70 per cent of non-traumatic leg amputations each year.
That’s why Diabetes Canada is advocating for a national strategy, with 11-million Canadians living with diabetes or pre-diabetes right now.
Dr. Nagpal describes a strategy that coordinates governments and communities to collectively create better environments and health systems that support healthy behaviours and better access to medications, supplies and services.
The estimated cost to the health care system is $30-billion a year, but Nagpal says with an investment of $150-million, it could save $20-billion in health care costs and reduce the number of new cases of Type 2 diabetes by 770,000 in seven years.
The awareness campaign for Diabetes Canada is called Diabetes 360.