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Diabetes - Are You At Risk?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that can lead to serious complications. The condition occurs when the body is unable to adequately produce and/or properly use insulin (type1 or type 2 respectively). Insulin is necessary for the body to use sugar as an energy source. The onset of type 2 diabetes may be prevented or delayed, through increased physical activity, healthy eating and weight loss.

Risk factors that contribute to developing type 2 diabetes:

How can I prevent type 2 diabetes?

There are many factors that can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Here are some recommendations for workplaces and tips for employees:

Workplace Recommendations

Tips for Employees

Identify employees who might be at risk

  • Have your employees fill out a Health risk appraisal;
  • Look at medical claims data and/or pharmacy claims data;
  • Collect surveys; and
  • Conduct focus groups.

Maintain a healthy weight

Incorporate comprehensive workplace health (CWH)
1) Health education ((PDF, 1.23 MB, pages 9 and 10 of 44):

  • Skill development
  • Lifestyle behaviour modification
  • Information dissemination and awareness building

2) Supportive social and physical environment (PDF, 1.23 MB, pages 9 and 10 of 44):

  • Organization’s expectations regarding healthy behaviours
  • Implementation of policies that promote health and reduce risk of disease.

3) Integration of the worksite program into your organization’s structure.

Eat a healthy diet

Set goals for your program
Example:
Increase the proportion of adults who are at a healthy weight

Increase physical activity

  • Accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week to achieve health benefits.
  • Include muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities in your routine at least 2 days per week.
  • Find activities that you enjoy and that include your family.

Identify strategies to meet these goals that incorporate CWH
Examples:

  • Provide healthy snacks in vending machines, in break rooms, and at company events (Supportive Social and Physical Environment).
  • Distribute nutrition information to employees (Health Education).

Don’t smoke

Evaluate your programs

  • Examines both how well the program is working and whether or not it is achieving expected results (PDF, 1.10 MB, 35 pages).
  • Build into the planning process and into the budget.

Reduce your stress

  • Get enough sleep and rest.
  • Being physical activity is a great way to reduce stress.

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The cost of diabetes

It is estimated that By 2020, diabetes will cost the Canadian healthcare system $16.9 billion a year (Canadian Diabetes Association).

People with diabetes incur medical costs that are two to three times higher than those without diabetes. A person with diabetes can face direct costs for medication and supplies ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 a year (Canadian Diabetes Association).

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Facts and Stats

“Approximately 80% of people with diabetes will die as a result of heart disease or stroke.” (Canadian Diabetes Association)
“Every year, diabetes is a contributing factor in the deaths of approximately 41,500 Canadians.” (Canadian Diabetes Association)
The number of Canadians diagnosed continues to rise, and it is projected that it will reach approximately $3.7 million by 2020. These increases escalate the share of the total population with diabetes from 4.2% in 2000 to 7.3% in 2010 to 9.9% in 2020.
“Canadian adults with diabetes are twice as likely to die prematurely, compared to people without diabetes. Life expectancy for people with type 2 diabetes may be shortened by 5 to 10 years.” (Canadian Diabetes Association)

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Additional resources

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Other Topics

Revised: July 04, 2014

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