University of Saskatchewan

September 17, 2014   

U of S Study Finds Diabetes Epidemic in First Nations Women

February 04, 2010

A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) by University of Saskatchewan researcher Roland Dyck and co-authors has found that the incidence of diabetes is more than four times higher in First Nations women compared to non-First Nations women.

The epidemic affecting First Nations people is especially common among women in their prime reproductive years (20-49), according to the study. Rates of diabetes, accompanied by an epidemic of obesity, will likely continue to rise.

The authors state that the rapid appearance of type 2 diabetes, particularly among First Nations, has been precipitated by environmental rather than genetic factors. They urge a long-term solution that involves public health and community prevention initiatives targeted at pregnant women, children and young adults.

Other team members included: Nathaniel Osgood (computer science/community health and epidemiology) and Amy Gao (computer science), along with Ting Hsiang Lin of National Taipei University in Taiwan and Mary Rose Stang from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health.

Read more about the study at the CMAJ website:

In previous work published in 2002, Dr. Dyck found that overweight Aboriginal women are almost five times more likely to develop gestational diabetes (GD) than overweight non-Aboriginal women:

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