Diabetes Month kicks off with frightening statistics
November is Diabetes Month, and with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation’s awareness campaign come some surprising statistics. A recent survey conducted on behalf of the JDF found that just half of the people surveyed believe that diabetes only poses a serious health risk, since it is controlled by insulin.
The fact is that diabetes and its complications kill more people each year than breast cancer, AIDS and lupus combined. Only 15 per cent of those surveyed ranked diabetes first on the list of life-threatening illnesses, behind breast cancer, which received 50 percent, and AIDS, which received just over one-quarter of the responses. The survey’s alarming results underline the point that Canadians (many of whom may suffer from diabetes and do not yet know it) need to understand the seriousness of the disease and the potential health threats it represents.
Only 42 percent of those surveyed were aware of diabetes risk factors, which include:
- Being more than 20 per cent overweight
- Having high blood sugar levels
- Being over 45 years of age.
- Being of Hispanic, African or Aboriginal origin.