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Diabetes time bomb

Around 30 per cent of British Columbians are expected to be diabetic or pre-diabetic within the next decade, according to a study released yesterday by the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Around 30 per cent of British Columbians are expected to be diabetic or pre-diabetic within the next decade, according to a study released yesterday by the Canadian Diabetes Association.

“We have an aging demographic and ... a number of people coming in to the province from high risk communities like Asian communities,” said Michael Cloutier, president and CEO of the Canadian Diabetes Association.

He added diet and lifestyle are also factors.

“The best action for us to take ... is to work on prevention of secondary implications ... like kidney failure, heart attack, blindness and limb amputation,” Cloutier said.

“Eighty per cent of the cost of diabetes is actually in those downstream complications.”

He said that turning the tide against diabetes requires a shift in government approach, private sector involvement and broad-based personal and societal change.

“By investing in the care making accessible medications and devices and supplies to people living with diabetes we can reduce the impact,” Cloutier said.