Message from the Minister of Health: Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day (November 14)


Diabetes is one of the top chronic diseases in Canada with more than 3 million Canadians living with the disease. During Diabetes Awareness Month, and today on World Diabetes Awareness Day, I invite all Canadians to learn more about this chronic condition so we can take action to prevent it and better support people living with diabetes. This year, Canadians can also be very proud to mark an important milestone – 2021 is the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin. This Canadian contribution to the scientific community has changed millions of lives worldwide.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for approximately 90% of diabetes cases in adults. Unfortunately, many more Canadian adults are at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is preventable. Making healthier choices every day, including eating well, being more active, siting less and not smoking can help prevent chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

To help determine your risk of developing diabetes, this month, I encourage Canadians to take the Canadian Diabetes Risk Questionnaire or CANRISK. It will provide you with an individual risk score as well as guidance on reducing or postponing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

More work needs to be done to prevent diabetes and to support those affected by it. That's why the Government of Canada, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), continues to support research on diabetes. Over the past five years, CIHR has invested more than $230 million in research to help us better understand the causes of diabetes, find more effective ways to prevent the disease, and improve the lives of Canadians living with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In August of this year, CIHR recommitted to the JDRF-CIHR Partnership to Defeat Diabetes, which since 2017, has supported the development of innovative treatments for people with type 1 diabetes.

Furthermore, in Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed to support diabetes research, surveillance, prevention, and the development of a national framework for diabetes. The Government will develop the framework by working with a number of stakeholders, including Diabetes Canada, JDRF, provinces and territories, Indigenous organizations, and other stakeholders and will help support improved access to prevention and treatment, and better health outcomes for Canadians.

Over the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the urgency of addressing diabetes due to the increased risk of severe outcomes among Canadians with the disease. Together, let's keep moving towards healthier living.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos P.C., M.P.

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