(ANNews) – Diabetes Canada and Enoch Cree Nation Health Services are jointly hosting the Third Annual Diabetes Workshop on September 12 and 13, 2018 at the River Cree Resort in Enoch AB.
The Workshop will provide important information and strategies as well as networking opportunities and support for Indigenous people living with diabetes and their caregivers. Registration costs $100 per person or $1250 for a group of 15.
It is well documented that Indigenous peoples around the globe are disproportionately affected by diabetes and related complications. In Canada, age-standardized prevalence rates for diabetes are 17.2% among First Nations individuals living on-reserve, 10.3% among First Nations individuals living off-reserve, and 7.3% among Métis people, compared to 5% in the general population.
A recent study in Alberta suggested that the lifetime risk of diabetes was 8 in 10 for First Nations persons over the age of 18 years compared with 5 in 10 for non-First Nations people. Among the Inuit people, the age-standardized prevalence rate of diabetes is comparable to that seen in the general Canadian population, but there is concern that rates will rise with large-scale changes impacting healthy behaviour in the far North.
Indigenous individuals are diagnosed at an increasingly younger age, have greater severity at diagnosis, develop higher rates of complications, and experience poorer treatment outcomes.
Indigenous peoples living in Canada are among the highest-risk populations for diabetes and related complications. These statistics point to an urgent need for cultural-specific intervention which will be the focus of the Diabetes Workshop.
Screening for diabetes should be carried out earlier and at more frequent intervals. Effective prevention strategies are essential and should be grounded in the specific social, cultural and health service contexts of the community. Prediabetes intervention is an important opportunity to prevent or delay diabetes.
Particular attention is needed for Indigenous women and girls of childbearing age, as the high incidence of hyperglycemia in pregnancy (gestational and type 2) and maternal obesity increases the risk of childhood obesity and diabetes in the next generation. Early identification of diabetes in pregnancy is important, and postpartum screening for diabetes in women with a history of gestational diabetes should be performed along with appropriate follow up.
Diabetes management targets in Indigenous peoples should be no different from the general population. A focus on building a therapeutic relationship with an Indigenous person with diabetes is important rather than a singular emphasis on achieving management targets. The current poor success at achieving management targets highlights the limitations of health services when they are not relevant to the social and cultural contexts of Indigenous peoples.
Diabetes Canada provides the following key messages about diabetes for Indigenous Peoples and their communities:
Many Indigenous communities have families with high rates and high risk of type 2 diabetes. If you are in a community with high rates of diabetes, see a health-care provider to learn about ways to be tested for and prevent diabetes.
The causes of diabetes are complex. Learning about the medical, social and cultural contributions to diabetes is key to diabetes prevention. In particular, seek to understand the relationships between the history of colonization and the current high rates of diabetes in Indigenous peoples.
Ask about community initiatives that promote healthy behaviours, such as diabetes walks, weight-loss groups, fitness classes, community kitchens and gardens, and school-based activities for children and teenagers.
If you are planning a pregnancy or may get pregnant, get screened for diabetes. If you are pregnant and have diabetes or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, visit your health-care providers more often, and find out about exercise, breastfeeding and other support groups for pregnant women and new mothers.
For more information and to register in the Diabetes Workshop on September 12 and 13, contact [email protected] or call 780 470-5440.
Information Source: Diabetes Canada