Government of Canada announces new partnership with the Netherlands to fund type 2 diabetes research

News release

March 25, 2021 — Ottawa, ON — Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of people across the world. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the most common type, making up nearly 90% of all diabetes cases. T2D can result from a wide range of social, environmental and genetic factors. Obesity, an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, lower socioeconomic status, and increased age are known to increase the risk of developing T2D. The condition disproportionately affects racialized communities. The prevalence of T2D is increasing, but many cases can be prevented.

Today, Jennifer O’Connell, Member of Parliament for Pickering-Uxbridge and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, announced, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, a joint initiative between the Government of Canada and the Netherlands that aims to accelerate research to prevent diabetes and to improve the quality of life for individuals with T2D. The new Netherland-Canada Type 2 Diabetes Research Consortium is supported with funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation, Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), and Health~Holland.

Led by Dr. Patrick Schrauwen at Maastricht University and Dr. Andre Carpentier at Université de Sherbrooke, the Consortium will explore whether the time of day when we eat or exercise, among other behaviours, has an impact on the prevention, reversal and remission of T2D. This research builds on the recognition that a disruption of the body’s biological clock through exposure to shift work, travelling across time zones, or a switch to Daylight Saving Time, as well as exposure to artificial lighting and digital screens, may result in disturbances in sleep, eating and exercise, which can affect the health and well-being of individuals.

Canada’s contribution for this Consortium is part of CIHR’s 100 Years of Insulin: Accelerating Canadian Discoveries to Defeat Diabetes initiative. This initiative commemorates the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin and invests in new research that will support the development of new preventive and therapeutic approaches to reverse the upward trajectory of diabetes prevalence and associated morbidities, and reduce the impact of diabetes on individuals, families and communities.

Quotes

“Diabetes continues to be a major health concern for many Canadians. Preventing and reversing type 2 diabetes is a public health priority – in Canada and across the world. We continue to invest in breakthrough research and strengthen partnerships to tackle the increasing prevalence of T2D and to improve the well-being of people who live with this disease.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“In 2021, Canada will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, a discovery that changed the lives of millions of Canadians and people around the world. While we have come a long way, we must continue to invest in ground-breaking research that aims to uncover new ways to prevent, control and treat diabetes and its complications.”
Jennifer O’Connell
Member of Parliament for Pickering-Uxbridge and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

“CIHR’s Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes is pleased to collaborate with international partners in the Netherlands to fund new research that will support the development of new preventive and therapeutic approaches to reduce the impact of diabetes on individuals, families and communities. Recently there have been studies that have generated considerable excitement by demonstrating that the remission of type 2 diabetes is possible in some people, and I look forward to learning about how the new Netherlands-Canada Type 2 Diabetes Research Consortium will contribute to this growing area of research by advancing our understanding of type 2 diabetes prevention and remission."
Dr. Norman Rosenblum
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes

Quick facts

  • In 2017, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, more than 3 million Canadian adults – or 1 in 11 adults – were living with diabetes.

  • Risk factors for T2D include obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, lower socioeconomic status, increased age, and ethnicity (e.g., increased risk among Black Canadians, South Asian Canadians, and Indigenous Peoples).

  • The Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and partners in the Netherlands are investing a total of $5.9M in a new international partnership to address the challenge of T2D. The Netherland-Canada Type 2 Diabetes Research Consortium aims to accelerate research to prevent diabetes and to improve the quality of life for individuals with T2D.

  • The CIHR funding for the Consortium is part of more than $30M that the agency is investing over the next 7 years in new strategic research as part of the 100 Years of Insulin: Accelerating Canadian Discoveries to Defeat Diabetes initiative.

  • These new investments build on the more than $230M that CIHR has invested in diabetes research over the past five years.

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Contacts

David Coulombe
Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
613-808-7526
david.coulombe@cihr-irsc.gc.ca  

Cole Davidson
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
613-957-0200
cole.davidson@canada.ca

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