November is Diabetes Month: Know your risk of diabetes

The Canadian Diabetes Association has rolled out a new online tool to help people assess their risk of contracting diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) has rolled out a new online tool to help people assess their risk of contracting this disease, which affects over 10 million Canadians every day.

“We all feel the impact of diabetes in our communities and throughout Canada,” says Julie Knisley, CDA regional director for B.C. and Yukon. “Not only is the number of people with diabetes growing, but so are the serious complications they experience, such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and limb amputation.”

She is encouraging all British Columbians to “find two minutes this month to take the CANRISK Type 2 diabetes online risk test and take charge of their health.”

The survey – which is found at take2minutes.ca – asks a series of questions about your height, weight, physical activity level, diet, heritage (people of Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian and African descent are higher risk) and assesses your “risk score.”

After the survey – which does, in fact, take about two minutes (if you have a tape measure handy to get your waist measurement) – you are given recommendations on how to proceed. You may be told to go speak with a doctor if you are determined to have a high risk, for example.

“B.C. is a leader among the provinces when it comes to tackling the issue of diabetes, and our government priorities include a focus on preventing chronic disease,” said Health Minister Terry Lake in a release issued on World Diabetes Day, Nov. 14. “We’re helping the 400,000 British Columbians living with diabetes take ownership of their health by providing additional supports and services that work to prevent and treat diabetes.

“These supports include extending coverage of insulin pumps to patients 25 and under, developing provincial standards for diabetes care in schools, providing an incentive payment for doctors; and, increasing screening rates significantly, so that now about 85 per cent of adults in B.C. over age 45 have been screened for diabetes,” Lake said in the release.

More information about the risks associated with diabetes and pre-diabetes, including risk factors and preventions, can be found at www.diabetes.ca