• The Canadian Diabetes Association releases 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines
Apr 17, 2013

The Canadian Diabetes Association today released its 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada (the Guidelines) that aim to improve prevention strategies and the quality of care for those living with the disease.

The importance of these Guidelines is highlighted by the fact that diabetes rates in Canada have doubled over the past decade, with one in every three Canadians projected to have either diabetes or prediabetes by 2020. If improperly managed, diabetes can lead to many devastating secondary complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and limb amputations, which can significantly reduce the quality and length of life. Accordingly, these new Guidelines will be crucial for both the medical community and the growing number of people affected by diabetes from coast-to-coast.

“Each person’s experience with diabetes can be different and the best way to manage the disease involves addressing their unique needs and tailoring a treatment plan to best meet those needs,” says Dr. Jan Hux, Chief Scientific Advisor for the Canadian Diabetes Association. “The new Guidelines allow healthcare professionals to determine the best early management and treatment path to help reduce the potential for serious complications down the road.”

The Guidelines were developed through a rigorous process by an expert committee of 120 leading health professionals across the country. They carefully identified, evaluated, synthesized the latest scientific evidence and then translated actionable recommendations for people living with diabetes and their healthcare team. This edition of the Guidelines highlights:

    • New approaches, such as using the A1C test—a single, practical measure of average blood glucose—to help diagnose people with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes without the need to abstain from eating for 12 hours.
    • Clearer diagnostic criteria. Under the new recommendations, people with an A1C level of 6.5 per cent or greater will be diagnosed with diabetes and those with an A1C level of 6.0-6.4 per cent will be diagnosed with prediabetes.
    • Innovative new ways to select treatment targets that reflect the clinical condition and personal goals of the individual. For example, sets of newly defined factors, such as age, how long the person has lived with diabetes and whether or not they have heart disease will help establish individual care plans towards improving quality of life.
  • New ways to protect people living with diabetes from heart attack, stroke and other diabetes-related complications. 
    • An emphasis on vascular protection for all adults living with diabetes is recommended and may include active treatment strategies to prevent blood vessel related complications including new educational tools, adopting lifestyle changes and considering heart-protecting medications.

In addition, new interactive web-based tools for both healthcare providers and people with diabetes are now available atguidelines.diabetes.ca and will bring the new Guidelines to life, helping to simplify assessment and personalizing the management of the disease.

Developed by experts across 19 different medical disciplines, the Canadian Diabetes Association Guidelines are internationally recognized and the 2013 edition provides new recommendations based on the most up-to-date, published clinical data published since 2008.

New 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines Highlights

Screening and Diagnosis of Diabetes – Know Your Number, Know Your Diagnosis

In an effort to identify Canadians who are unaware that they are living with diabetes or prediabetes, the Guidelines offer more ways to identify those at risk.  Screening for type 2 diabetes should be performed every three years for all Canadians over 40 years of age, or earlier and more frequently in those with risk factors.

Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease – Protect Your Heart (Know your ABCDEs)

Heart disease is a major cause of death and disability for people living with diabetes. The new Guidelines encourages people living with diabetes to know their heart health ABCDEs and works to educate healthcare teams to address them:

A – A1C (a measure of average blood glucose) in optimal range

B – Blood pressure optimally controlled

C- Cholesterol in target range

D – Drugs – heart-protecting medications for the right patients

E – Exercise and other lifestyle measures

S – Stop Smoking

Lowering Blood Glucose Levels – Managing Your “Blood Sugars”

Managing blood glucose levels can reduce the risk of diabetes-related health problems. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends that the vast majority of people living with diabetes should be targeting an A1C of seven per cent. However, there may be situations when the target should be changed to best suit the individual—the new Guidelines define those specific scenarios.

Additional recommendations from the 2013 Guidelines include specific strategies for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes in children and Aboriginal peoples, and new approaches for the delivery of integrated care and effective self-management of the disease.

About the Canadian Diabetes Association

The Canadian Diabetes Association is a registered charitable organization, leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our professional staff and more than 20,000 volunteers provide education and services to help people in their daily fight against the disease, advocate on behalf of people with diabetes for the opportunity to achieve their highest quality of life, and break ground towards a cure.

Please visit diabetes.ca, join us on facebook.com/CanadianDiabetesAssociation, follow us on Twitter@DiabetesAssoc, or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

For further information:

For more information or to schedule an interview with diabetes medical experts or Canadians living with diabetes, please contact:

Heath Applebaum 
National Director of Communications 
Canadian Diabetes Association 
Tel: (416) 408-7053 
Mobile: (416) 834-0171 
heath.applebaum@diabetes.ca

Tamara Macgregor 
Weber Shandwick 
Tel: (416) 642-7914 
tmacgregor@webershandwick.com