The prevalence of diabetes in Canada is estimated to be approximately 5%, with another 5% unaware that they have this chronic condition. The incidence of diabetes is steadily increasing and it is now considered to be an epidemic. Current estimates of the burden of diabetes on our health care system have been cross-sectional, cost-of-illness estimates of annual expenditures, based on models and assumptions rather than empirical data. Indeed, little is known about the future burden, both clinical and financial, on our health care system.

This study will use longitudinal health care resource utilization data from Saskatchewan Health 1991-2001 to establish annual rates of incidence, prevalence and mortality for diabetes and its co-morbidities. These data will be derived from all Saskatchewan residents identified with diabetes and stratified by 5-year age group, sex, and Registered Indian status. These empirical-based estimates will be used to develop a dynamic life-table model to predict the future prevalence of diabetes by age, sex, and Registered Indian status for the period 2001 to 2021. The prevalence of major diabetes-related comorbidities will also be incorporated into this model.

The per-capita costs for management of diabetes and its comorbidities in 2001, stratified by 5-year age group and age will be derived from the same longitudinal database. These cost data will help inform the model to predict total health care costs as well as management costs associated with diabetes and each of the major comorbidities.

Upon completion of this ‘baseline’ epidemiologic and cost projection model, the incremental costs and effectiveness estimates of various prevention strategies will be incorporated. Published estimates will be supplemented with results from ongoing population-based healthy lifestyle intervention studies in Canada.

Research Team

Jeff Johnson, Phil Jacobs, Arto Ohinmaa, Ron Plotnikoff, Scot Simpson


Institute of Health Economics
Canadian Institutes of Health Research