Aboriginal diabetics are a large population to investigate, and data is collected and compiled province-wide by Alberta Health Services as opposed to geographical or Treaty-specific statistics. Therefore, the most appropriate aggregate for assessment would be diabetic Aboriginals in Alberta, in and around the Calgary area.Statistically, Aboriginal or First Nations peoples regardless of their location face similar pre-dispositions for certain diseases, such as type II diabetes. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic disorder of carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism caused by a discrepancy between the amount of insulin required by the body and the amount of insulin available (Sommers, 2011). The disease leads to inappropriate glucose utilization within the body which causes a variety of related diseases, thus modifying the mortality rates. Type II DM is often called ‘adult onset’ diabetes and is related to obesity, poor diet and other factors. Diabetes is a life-long disease that can be treated with diet, exercise, supportive medications and close management of blood glucose levels, and also treated for its effects on other body organs and systems.Aboriginal communities in Canada commonly believe that diabetes prevention is ineffective in Aboriginal populations because it fails to offer diabetes prevention strategies specific to their needs. The Alberta Diabetes Surveillance System (ADSS) has reported that in status Aboriginals the diabetes incidence and prevalence rates are twice the incidence rates compared to the general population. Accordingly, the use of hospital and emergency department services is 2 to 3 times higher for the Status Aboriginal population as compared to the general population (Alberta Diabetes Atlas, 2009, pg.According to statistical estimates by Health Canada, the Type 2 diabetes is about 3 to 5 times higher among First Nations people. These numbers clearly indicate that the incidence of diabetes in our Aboriginal populations is a matter of serious concern for health care providers, and also for the Aboriginal communities.
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