Open Access Open Badges Research article

Determinants of lifestyle behavior in type 2 diabetes: results of the 2011 cross-sectional survey on living with chronic diseases in Canada

Calypse B Agborsangaya1, Marianne E Gee2, Steven T Johnson3, Peggy Dunbar4, Marie-France Langlois5, Lawrence A Leiter6, Catherine Pelletier2 and Jeffrey A Johnson1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Public Health Sciences, 2–040 Li Ka Shing Center for Health Research and Innovation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E1, Canada

2 Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Public Health Agency of Canada, 785 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0K9, Canada

3 Centre for Nursing & Health Studies, Faculty of Health Disciplines, 1 University Drive, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta, T9S 3A3, Canada

4 Diabetes Care Program of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS, B3H 2Y9, Canada

5 Division of Endocrinology, Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé, Université de Sherbrooke and Étienne-LeBel Clinical Research Center, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, J1H 5N4, Canada

6 Keenan Research Centre in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1W8, Canada

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:451  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-451

Published: 7 May 2013



Lifestyle behavior modification is an essential component of self-management of type 2 diabetes. We evaluated the prevalence of engagement in lifestyle behaviors for management of the disease, as well as the impact of healthcare professional support on these behaviors.


Self-reported data were available from 2682 adult respondents, age 20 years or older, to the 2011 Survey on Living with Chronic Diseases in Canada’s diabetes component. Associations with never engaging in and not sustaining self-management behaviors (of dietary change, weight control, exercise, and smoking cessation) were evaluated using binomial regression models.


The prevalence of reported dietary change, weight control/loss, increased exercise and smoking cessation (among those who smoked since being diagnosed) were 89.7%, 72.1%, 69.5%, and 30.6%, respectively. Those who reported not receiving health professional advice in the previous 12 months were more likely to report never engaging in dietary change (RR = 2.7, 95% CI 1.8 – 4.2), exercise (RR = 1.7, 95% CI 1.3 – 2.1), or weight control/loss (RR = 2.2, 95% CI 1.3 – 3.6), but not smoking cessation (RR = 1.0; 95% CI: 0.7 – 1.5). Also, living with diabetes for more than six years was associated with not sustaining dietary change, weight loss and smoking cessation.


Health professional advice for lifestyle behaviors for type 2 diabetes self-management may support individual actions. Patients living with the disease for more than 6 years may require additional support in sustaining recommended behaviors.

Type 2 diabetes; Health behaviors; Health professional advice; Self-management