Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe
More than nine million Canadians have diabetes or prediabetes, and the Canadian Diabetes Association estimates that by 2020, diabetes will cost the Canadian healthcare system $16.9 billion a year.
“The vast majority of people with diabetes have Type 2, which can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle modifi cations,” says Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe.
“And yet even though we have the power to reduce the impact of Type 2 diabetes, the average Canadian adult with Type 2 diabetes is about one-and-a-half times more likely to die prematurely, compared to people without diabetes.”
The vast majority of people with diabetes have Type 2, which can be prevented or delayed with healthylifestyle modifications.
As a scientist, Lipscombe has already clarifi ed many of the factors that contribute and relate to diabetes, including socio-economic status, breast cancer, obesity, vitamin D levels, ethnicity and pregnancy. As an endocrinologist and the head of the Centre for Integrated Diabetes Care at Women’s College Hospital, she’s creating a program of cohesive patient care that puts these pieces together to help empower individuals with diabetes to improve their outcomes.
“We know what people need to do to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes, and to manage the illness, but our system as a whole isn’t doing a good job of helping people take charge. The Centre for Integrated Diabetes Care is mobilizing our knowledge in a multi-disciplinary setting that’s far more accessible to patients than the traditional model that sends patients from specialist to specialist.”
THE POWER OF MANY
Lorraine Lipscombe reaches out to a diverse range of stakeholders to explore complex issues linked to diabetes:
- With Dr. Gillian Hawker, Lipscombe is pursuing an enhanced understanding of the complex relationship between diabetes and arthritis pain.
- Lipscombe has mentored Dr. Iliana Lega, an endocrinologist and research fellow. In 2012, Lega successfully defended her MSc thesis on “The Association Between Metformin Therapy and Mortality Following Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Study.”
- Ananya Banerjee, a kinesiologist in the Women’s Cardiovascular Health Initiative program at Women’s College Hospital, is studying the barriers that dissuade South Asian women from engaging in healthier lifestyle choices to prevent Type 2 diabetes.
- Lipscombe is supported by the CIHR, the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and the Lawson Foundation.