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HEALTH: New Institute Part of 10-year Strategy to Support Prevention and Management of Diabetes

(November 23, Friday) — Canada’s largest diabetes centre in Edmonton will play a key role in Alberta’s 10-year strategy to raise awareness of diabetes and help those living with diabetes to manage their health.

Opened earlier this month, the Alberta Diabetes Institute houses researchers seeking ways to prevent, treat and cure the disease which afflicts 150,000 Albertans and 2.25 million Canadians. More than 14,000 new cases are identified each year.Since 2003, the province has allocated approximately $50 million to educate Albertans about the risk factors of type 2 diabetes – one of the fastest growing and preventable chronic diseases.

Type 2 diabetes, which is largely prevented by healthy eating and regular physical activity, accounts for 90 to 95 per cent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

The opening of the Alberta Diabetes Institute and Health Research Innovation Facility were announced by the University of Alberta.

Along with other partners, Alberta contributed an additional $6 million towards state-of-the-art research equipment at the institute.

This year, Alberta has allocated $11.5 million to several programs under the strategy, including:
• The Mobile Diabetes Screening Initiative, led by the University of Alberta, uses a team of health professionals who visit off-reserve Aboriginal and 19 northern communities to screen individuals for diabetes and its complications.
• The Alberta Monitoring for Health Program, led by the Canadian Diabetes Association, assists low-income Albertans to purchase some diabetes supplies.
• The Alberta Diabetes Surveillance System Project, a five-year project led by the Institute of Health Economics, provides diabetes surveillance information on the incidence and prevalence of diabetes in the province.
• The Healthy Alberta Communities Project, led by the University of Alberta, aims to prevent cases of type 2 diabetes in three different communities through healthy eating and physical activity.