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Diabetes: 21st Century Epidemic With Almost 40 Per Cent Of Canadian Lives Touched By Disease

Sun Life Financial's $5 million donation to the UHN will help support innovative advances in research and care. UHN has been a trailblazer in diabetes research and care in Canada since the ground-breaking discovery of insulin by Doctor Frederick Banting and Doctor Charles Best in 1921. The world-leading clinic at the UHN will be named the Sun Life Financial Banting and Best Diabetes Clinic.

"We are tremendously inspired by this announcement," said Dr. Gary Lewis, Head of the Division of Endocrinology at UHN. "Sun Life's corporate endorsement and financial investment will help us prevent, manage and cure diabetes by promoting healthy lifestyles; developing interventions that improve quality of life; and discovering new treatments."

Diabetes impacts not only those with the disease, but also family, friends and loved ones. Research from the 2012 Sun Life Canadian Health Index TM also found that the impact of those lives touched by diabetes varies by region:

  • Atlantic: 44 per cent
  • Quebec: 32 per cent
  • Ontario: 40 per cent
  • Manitoba/ Saskatchewan: 41 per cent
  • Alberta: 39 per cent
  • British Columbia: 36 per cent

Sun Life Financial understands the importance of diabetes prevention and its impact on the lives of many Canadians as the prevalence of this disease has doubled since 2000*. In addition to health concerns, in 2010 diabetes had a direct cost of about $12 billion on Canada's health care system and these costs are growing*. In Sun Life's Group Benefits business, the financial costs directly related to diabetes increased by 50 per cent in just five years. While some people are genetically predisposed to Type 2 diabetes, it is highly preventable or managed through diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

Join the conversation to raise awareness by sharing your story and show your support using #LiveaBrighterLife on Twitter. For tips on managing and preventing diabetes, please visit To learn more about Sun Life's commitment - watch this video and visit

*Source: Canadian Diabetes Association **Source: World Health Organization ***Source: International Diabetes Federation

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