The body needs insulin to covert sugar from food into an energy source. Diabetes is a chronic disease where the body does not produce enough insulin, or it cannot properly use the insulin it produces, causing high blood sugar levels.1 Diabetes is a chronic disease of public health importance in which Ontario public health units have a mandate to reduce its burden through interventions that promote health and help to prevent disease.2 There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes; only type 1 and type 2 are included in the data presented here. In Middlesex-London, rates of emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths due to diabetes were higher among males and older age groups from 2006 to 2018. While there is no cure for diabetes, people with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications.3
Among the Middlesex-London population age 12 years and older, 6.1% reported having diabetes in 2015/16 (Figure 7.3.1). The percent was lower compared to Ontario (7.1%) and the Peer Group (6.7%), but the differences were not statistically significant.
Rates of ED visits for diabetes were slightly higher in Middlesex-London compared to Ontario from 2015 to 2018, but the difference was not statistically significant in 2018 (Figure 7.3.2).
Rates of ED visits (Figure 7.3.3) and hospitalizations (not shown) for diabetes in Middlesex-London were significantly higher among males compared to females from 2006 to 2018.
Hospitalization rates for diabetes in Middlesex-London were higher compared to Ontario from 2008 to 2018 (Figure 7.3.4). However, the rates were not significantly different in the most recent three years (2016–2018).
When comparing across age groups in Middlesex-London, rates of ED visits (not shown) and hospitalizations (Figure 7.3.5) for diabetes increased with age and were highest among those age 75 years and older in 2018. Death rates in Middlesex-London in 2015 also followed a similar trend across age groups.
The Leading Causes of Death section contains data showing that diabetes was the eighth leading cause of death in Middlesex-London from 2013 to 2015.
Death rates due to diabetes in Middlesex-London fluctuated around 20 per 100,000 from 2006 to 2015 (Figure 7.3.6). Rates in Middlesex-London generally were not significantly different from Ontario.
Death rates due to diabetes were higher among the rural population of Middlesex-London compared to the urban population from 2013 to 2015 (Figure 7.3.7). The difference was only significantly different in 2015 (43.8 vs. 16.1 per 100,000), the most recent year in which data are available.
Diabetes is a chronic disease where the body either does not produce enough insulin, or it cannot properly use the insulin it produces, causing high blood sugar levels.1 There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
• Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body produces little or no insulin. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. People living with type 1 diabetes depend on insulin to stay alive.3
• Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does produce insulin, but cannot use it properly to convert sugar to energy. About 9 out of 10 people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. 1
• Gestational diabetes develops in about 4% of women during pregnancy and usually goes away after the baby is born. It can increase the risk of both the mother and baby developing type 2 diabetes.4
Diabetes can lead to serious complications and premature death.1 For example, high blood sugar levels over a long period of time can cause: blindness, reduced blood supply to the limbs leading to amputation, erectile dysfunction, nerve damage, stroke, and heart disease.1 Having diabetes increases the risk of developing hypertension by 68% in men and 125% in women.5
There is no cure for diabetes; however, people with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications.3
1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Type 2 Diabetes [Internet]. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada; 2018 [cited 2019 Sep 23]. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/type-2-diabetes...
2. Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Ontario Public Health Standards: Requirements for Programs, Services, and Accountability [Internet]. Toronto, ON: Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2018 [cited 2019 Jul 30]. Available from: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/oph_standards/d...
3. Public Health Agency of Canada. Type 1 Diabetes [Internet]. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada; 2009 [cited 2019 Sep 23]. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/chronic-diseases/diabete...
4. Public Health Agency of Canada. Gestational Diabetes [Internet]. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada; 2016 [cited 2019 Sep 23]. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/chronic-diseases/diabete...
5. Statistics Canada. Hypertension: Prevalence and Leading Risk Factors [Internet]. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada; 2019 [cited 2019 Sep 23]. Available from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11-627-m/11-627-m2019007-eng.htm
Last modified on: November 18, 2019