Diabetes among British Columbia First Nations population: Report from the National Diabetes Surveillance System: Diabetes in Canada, 2009

Diabetes among British Columbia First Nations Population

A goal of the NDSS has been to encourage and facilitate the collaboration between the Aboriginal Peoples and the provinces and territories so that, together, we can better understand and track the severity of diabetes in these communities. In British Columbia there has been a successful example of this approach. A partnership was formed between the BC Ministry of Health, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), Health Canada, and the First Nations Leadership Council. As a result, data representing about 168,000 First Nations people who lived in British Columbia and were included either in the Status Verification File (SVF) or the British Columbia Medical Services Plan entitlement file, were analysed. The results were presented in the “Provincial Health Officer's Annual Report 2007.”Footnote 1 This group represented about 4% of the total British Columbia population.

Prevalence of Diagnosed DiabetesFootnote 2

  • The age-standardized prevalence for diagnosed diabetes was 6.7% for the First Nations population compared to 4.8% for other British Columbia residents (Figure 14). As previously reported,Footnote 3 the First Nations population prevalence remains about 40% higher than the rate for other residents.
  • Between 2002-03 and 2006-07 age-standardized prevalence of diagnosed diabetes among the First Nations men and women increased by about 15.5% (Figure 14).

Figure 14. Rates of Diagnosed Diabetes Among the First Nations Population Compared to Other Residents, British Columbia
Figure 14 - Text Equivalent

Figure 14

The age-standardized prevalence for diagnosed diabetes was 6.7% for the First Nations population compared to 4.8% for other British Columbia residents. As previously reported, the First Nations population prevalence remains about 40% higher than the rate for other residents. Between 2002-03 and 2006-07 age-standardized prevalence of diagnosed diabetes among the First Nations men and women increased by about 15.5%.

  • The First Nations population is affected by diabetes at a younger age and the rates of diagnosed diabetes were higher than the other British Columbia residents for all age groups above age 30 (Figure 15). The prevalence for the First Nations men and women in the 60 to 69 age group was higher than the rates in the 70 to 79 and 80+ age groups of other residents.
  • The prevalence for the First Nations women was higher than for the First Nations men. This finding is opposite to the pattern for the other British Columbia population, where the rate was higher for men than women (Figure 16).  Part of the difference may be that men with diabetes are less likely to be diagnosed than women with diabetes. Some evidence to support this is that the prevalence of cardiovascular related health problems, often associated with diabetes (ischemic heart disease and stroke), is higher among men than women.
  • The prevalence of diagnosed diabetes was much higher among the First Nations women than other British Columbia women, and this difference was much larger than the difference among the First Nations men than other British Columbia men.

Figure 15. Rates of Diagnosed Diabetes Among the First Nations Population Compared to Other Residents, British Columbia
Figure 15 - Text Equivalent

Figure 15

The First Nations population is affected by diabetes at a younger age and the rates of diagnosed diabetes were higher than the other British Columbia residents for all age groups above age 30. The prevalence for the First Nations men and women in the 60 to 69 age group was higher than the rates in the 70 to 79 and 80+ age groups of other residents.

Mortality

  • During the same period, the mortality rate for the First Nations population with diagnosed diabetes was nearly twice the mortality rate for the First Nations population without diabetes (Figure 17).

Figure 16. Rates of Diagnosed Diabetes Among the First Nations Population Compared to Other Residents, British Columbia
Figure 16 - Text Equivalent

Figure 16

The prevalence for the First Nations women was higher than for the First Nations men. This finding is opposite to the pattern for the other British Columbia population, where the rate was higher for men than women.  Part of the difference may be that men with diabetes are less likely to be diagnosed than women with diabetes. Some evidence to support this is that the prevalence of cardiovascular related health problems, often associated with diabetes (ischemic heart disease and stroke), is higher among men than women.


Figure 17. All-Cause Mortality Rates of Diagnosed Diabetes Among the First Nations Population Compared to Other Residents, British Columbia
Figure 17 - Text Equivalent

Figure 17

During the same period, the mortality rate for the First Nations population with diagnosed diabetes was nearly twice the mortality rate for the First Nations population without diabetes.


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