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Ontario study reveals diabetes more common in First Nations people, especially women


According to a recent study in Ontario, diabetes is more common among people of the First Nations, especially women and occurs at younger ages than in other people in the state. First Nations is a term used to describe Aboriginal peoples of Canada.

The new study was published in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

The study, a partnership between Chiefs of Ontario and academic researchers, analysed services and population data on 158 241 First Nations people and more than 13.2 million other Ontarians between 1995 and 2014.

The prevalence of diabetes in First Nations people continues to rise, although the gap has narrowed from three times to twice as high in First Nations people as in the general population. This narrowing is likely due to a decline over time in new cases of diabetes in all groups, but especially in First Nations people.

According to Dr. Jennifer Walker, School of Rural and Northern Health, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario and Scientist, ICES (formerly the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences), Toronto, "While these findings represent promising progress, and may indicate real declines in the risk of diabetes, the declines in incidence do not track with declining prevalence of diabetes risk factors and may be an artifact of changing diagnostic criteria or screening practices."

First Nations women aged 20-34 years had double the prevalence rate of diabetes compared with other women (4.2 per cent compared with 1.6 per cent), and in women aged 35-49 years, the rate was almost three times as high (17.6 per cent compared with 6 percent).

"It is particularly important to address diabetes in women of reproductive age because of the potential generational impacts on metabolic health," write the authors.

"Efforts to prevent and manage diabetes in First Nations people requires a grounded understanding of the determinants of that affect First Nations in Canada, including the ongoing, intergenerational impacts of colonial policy associated with social, political, economic and cultural inequities.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 10 2020. 12:32 IST