Honourable Senators, approximately 2 million Canadians have diabetes and based on current trends this will rise to 3.7 million by 2019.
• Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and adolescents and accounts for ~10% of diabetic cases.
• Type 2 diabetes makes up ~90% of diabetic cases and is often linked to obesity.
It is one of the fastest growing diseases in Canada with more than 60,000 new cases per year.
Because of its wide-ranging impact on the health of individuals and the economic burden it places on the health care system, diabetes is a very serious medical condition.
Complications from diabetes include blindness, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, and depression.
Diabetes care had its first major breakthrough in Canada with the discovery of the role of insulin by Sir Frederick Banting in 1922, and innovations in diabetes care continue to be developed in Canada.
For example, Canada has contributed significantly to the development of insulin pumps. Insulin pumps allow for continuous insulin treatment rather than periodic injections.
Another important Canadian development is the funding of the Clinical Trials Network by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation in partnership with the Government of Canada.
Based around three clinical hubs in London, Toronto and Ottawa the network has funded trials that fill important care gaps in the management of diabetes, particularly in the use of insulin pumps.
New generations of drugs have been developed, as a result of research initiated in Canada, which mobilize the patient’s own insulin release.
There are multiple, promising strategies that are being developed to better prevent and control diabetes. These have the capability to increase lifespan and quality of life while reducing care and treatment costs.
This coming Monday, I will be hosting a kiosk event where we have asked leading Canadian health researchers and innovators in diabetes to join us so that they can tell you first-hand how they are:
• helping prevent the disease in Canadians in the first place,
• where they are in finding a cure for those who have diabetes and;
• how they are helping Canadians with the disease live healthy and productive lives.
Please join us on Monday, May 12th between 4 pm to 7 pm in Room 256-S of Centre Block for our Health Research Caucus kiosk event on Diabetes Research and Innovation in Canada.