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Diabetes becoming more prevalent in BC, warns expert

(File Photo)

About $400 million is spent yearly in BC on medications, hospitals visits related to diabetes

Roughly 28 per cent of the province's population has pre-diabetes or the illness itself

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – There’s a pretty good chance you, or someone you know, has diabetes. Today marks the start of Diabetes Awareness Month, with World Diabetes Day falling on November 14th.

Regional Director of the Canadian Diabetes Association for BC and Yukon Sheila Kern says diabetes is becoming more prevalent in our province. “The cases in British Columbia alone have grown to 1.4 million cases of diabetes or pre-diabetes in the province, representing a total of 28 per cent of our population.”

She believes it’s a growing concern. “If left unchecked, then it will increase prevalence by 46 per cent by 2026.”

She adds, in this province, we spend about $400 million a year on diabetes which includes medications, hospital visits and specialist visits.
“Seventy per cent of non-traumatic amputations are caused by diabetes. Thirty per cent of strokes are caused by diabetes, and 40 per cent of cardiovascular heart attacks are also caused by diabetes. So, there’s a tremendous impact on the health care for British Columbians.”

Kern says if you want to do something to help, you can participate in the Diabetes 21 challenge, which is raising money and awareness for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

You can also donate to Team Diabetes as NEWS 1130 Evening Show Anchor Tim James is representing the Canadian Diabetes Association at Jamaica’s Reggae Marathon in December.