Diabetes in Toronto is a significant concern. In a recent study, the city’s Medical Officer of Health has identified that the incidence of diabetes in Toronto has become a major public health challenge. Evidence indicates that people living in poverty have higher levels of obesity, physical inactivity, poor nutrition and higher rates of smoking. The poor are more likely to suffer from diabetes in Toronto than others in higher socio-economic groups.

Diabetes in Toronto

Toronto Public Health has been working with the Province in its attempts to reduce diabetes in Toronto. One of the handicaps in establishing the magnitude of the problem is the fact that there is no registry or other program that measures the prevalence of diabetes in Toronto. Some diabetes specialists are joining together to create associations to research and assist Torontonians with diabetes. Organizations like Diabetes Toronto are an example of that; (this example is headed by Dr. Ronnie Aronson of LMC Diabetes & Endocrinology.)

Through the Canadian Community Health Survey and the Ontario Health Survey the level or degree of diabetes in Toronto can be estimated. According to survey estimates, it seems that incidence of diabetes in Toronto has been on the rise for some years. In 2004, there were 690 deaths from diabetes in Toronto. In 2006 there were 2,165 hospitalizations because of diabetes in Toronto. These statistics do not take into account deaths and hospitalizations that are indirectly related to diabetes in Toronto and are thus conservative estimates.

Diabetes in Toronto shares certain risk factors with other chronic diseases. It is well established that the lack of physical activity, diet, body weight, tobacco use and ethnicity all play a role in the problem of diabetes in Toronto.

Toronto Public Health mobilizes and engages partners within the city, including partners in diabetes research, and beyond in its attempts to deal with the problem of diabetes in Toronto. Through a program of public information and communication initiatives, attempts are made to increase the awareness of the health benefits of physical activity, healthy eating and smoke free living. All of these initiatives will aid in reducing the incidence of diabetes in Toronto.

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