Diabetes in the Northwest Territories

Charlotte Warren, Heather Hannah and Kami Kandola*

Diabetes in the Northwest Territories

An estimated 2.7 million Canadians were living with diabetes in 2012.
Internationally, Canada has the fourth highest rate of diabetes, behind Mexico, the United States
and Portugal.

The prevalence of diabetes in Canada has doubled since 2000, and is expected
to keep increasing. The Northwest Territories is one of three territories located in the
most Northern part of Canada.

These adapted guidelines recommend annual screening starting at age 30
for those at high risk, every two years starting at age 30 for those at moderate risk, and every
three years starting at age 40 for those at low risk.

In addition to the implementation of the 2014 NWT Type 2 Diabetes Screening Diagnosis Clinical
Practice Guidelines, a territory-wide diabetes registry has been legislated and will make diabetes
a notifiable disease to the Department of Health and Social Services
beginning on January 1, 2016.

Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 22 and
Microsoft Excel 2010. While the data review provided accurate prevalence
estimates, it is only a starting point for a territory wide diabetes registry.

While the combination of lab data and community level data provided a robust estimate
of diabetes prevalence, it is still possible that cases of diabetes were missing from the data,
especially if they were never screened or tested or don’t have an NWT healthcare number.

It is also possible that the threshold of any one positive test is too low, thereby falsely including
identifying some nondiabetics as having diabetes. Finally, while the active resident
list provided the most up to date community data, it is possible that the population in
the NWT is highly mobile and therefore geographic distribution would be misrepresented in the data.

Diabetes Res Open J. 2015; 1(5): 128-130. doi: 10.17140/DROJ-1-120