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Vol. 8 (2017)

Charting the Progression of Diabetes Mellitus in New Brunswick: Rates, Correlates, and Implications for Accountability in Public Policy

December 7, 2017


Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common chronic conditions in New Brunswick, associated with a myriad of health and social consequences. The recent provincial government diabetes strategy focused largely on clinical indicators of diabetes prevention and management, without identification of a validated methodology for their measurement against performance targets or accountability for tangible improvements in the underlying social factors known to fuel type 2 diabetes. This study uses different data sources and methods to transparently measure recent trends in diabetes prevalence; disentangle the independent effects of multiple health, behavioural, and socioeconomic contributing factors to diabetes; and project future numbers. Population aging means the prevailing trend of rising diabetes prevalence is likely to continue in New Brunswick, but meaningful actions to address underlying social issues including poverty as a barrier to healthy living could help stem the tide.