Diabetes prevention clinic sponsored by Sun Life: fighting type 2 diabetes, one patient at a time
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In January 2019, the Montreal Heart Institute’s EPIC Centre inaugurated the Diabetes Prevention Clinic sponsored by Sun Life. Its goal is to improve the health of type 2 diabetics and reduce their risks of developing heart disease.
Understanding type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common typeof diabetes. With this condition, the body resists the effects of insulin or does not produce enough insulin which can ultimately result in hyperglycemia: high levels of sugar in the blood. In the long term, hyperglycemia can result in severe health consequences.
Type 2 diabetes may be caused by a variety of factors such as:
- Being overweight
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Unhealthy eating habits
Today, more than 422 million adults in the world are affected by this condition. In the past few years, more and more young people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes due to increasing obesity rates around the world.
Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases
Diabetes is the world’s 5th leading cause of premature death. Hyperglycemia resulting from the disease significantly increases the risk of damage to the blood vessels and the risk of developing heart problems including atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and dyslipidemia. It has been proven that individuals with type 2 diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for those with type 2 diabetes.
Thankfully, several studies have revealed that adopting healthy lifestyle habits, including a healthy diet, regular exercise, non-smoking, and moderate alcohol consumption can control, even reverse this type of diabetes.
More than 530 patients monitored in less than a year at the Diabetes Prevention Clinic
Thanks to the generous contribution of Sun Life, the Montreal Heart Institute’s Diabetes Prevention Clinic offers Canada’s only multidisciplinary diabetes prevention program. The patient is supported by an experienced team as they follow a personalized program over the course of a year in order to change their lifestyle habits and improve their condition or even reverse their diabetes diagnosis.
Since its opening*, the clinic has welcomed 532 patients, held more than 20,000 training sessions and 2,300 individual meetings. The results are impressive:
- 60% of patients have reduced the size of their waist by an average of 5 cm
- 66% of patients have lost on average 8.8 pounds
- 48% of patients have reduced their circulating insulin levels by an average of 23.95 mmol/L
- 58% of patients have improved their level of glycated hemoglobin, their blood glucose level, over 3 months by an average of 6.8%
- 24% of patients have increased their levels of good cholesterol (HDL) by an average of 0.07 mmol/L
Dr. Martin Juneau, Director of Prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute, heads the clinic in collaboration with a team which includes a nurse, a kinesiologist, a nutritionist, and medical staff such as cardiologists, an endocrinologist, and general practitioners.
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* As of February 2022.