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November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Today, more than 9 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes – a condition that, if left unchecked, puts you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  This means that nearly 1 in 4 Canadians either has diabetes or prediabetes.  More than 20 people are diagnosed with the disease every hour of every day.  

On Saturday November 6th, over 250 family physicians from across the GTA, met in a hall in Markham to hear education presentations from their specialist colleagues regarding the latest information in diabetes, cardio vascular disease, infectious diseases and vaccines. 

Dr. Afshan Zahedi, Medical Director for the Diabetes Centre at The Scarborough Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, told her colleagues that people with Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) could reduce their chances of progressing to Type 2 diabetes by over 50% if they simply changed their lifestyle  -  lost 7% of their body weight; adopted a low calorie/low fat diet and exercised a minimum of 150 minutes a week.

In the Central East LHIN, health service providers from across the system – physicians, nurses, diabetes educators, hospitals, community health centres, family health teams, the Access Centre and more – are working together to ensure that local residents have access to the information and services they need to effectively manage their diabetes. 

“Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” is a FREE six-week self-management program for Central East LHIN residents that empowers people to live with conditions like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, lung disease and other chronic health issues.  Funded by the Central East LHIN and managed by the Central East CCAC, by October 2010, the program had seen over 2,000 people take the course and many go on to become trainers themselves.

The “Living with Diabetes” guide, posted on the CE LHIN website, is already in its second printing and will soon be available in Tamil and Cantonese.  The guide contains simple, easy-to-read information on how to prevent and manage diabetes along with a resource listing for services available across the Central East region.

The recent refresh of the government’s Health Care Options website contains a wealth of information related to Diabetes and contains information on Ontario Diabetes Strategy and more information on the Diabetes Testing Report. 

For more information on how the LHIN is working with health service providers to reduce the impact of vascular disease, including Diabetes, please contact Karen O’Brien, Public Affairs Officer, CE LHIN at  1-866-804-5446 ext. 212 or via email at  karen.obrien@lhins.on.ca.