Diabetes in Hispanics

Hispanics and LatinosDiabetes mellitus is one of the most serious health challenges facing Hispanics and Latinos in the United States. It is the 6th leading cause of death within this community and the 4th leading cause of death among Hispanic women and Hispanic elderly.

Hispanics and Latinos are at a higher risk of developing and dying from diabetes, and twice as likely as other populations to experience complications such as heart disease, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, amputations and nerve damage In 2006, Hispanics were 1.7 times as likely to start treatment for end-stage renal disease related to diabetes, compared to non-Hispanic white men. In 2006, Hispanics were 1.5 times as likely as non-Hispanic white to die from diabetes.

Diabetes has an earlier onset in Latinos than in other populations. Among Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans, the age of onset is 30 to 50 years old. More than 11% of all Mexican Americans 20 years or older have diabetes.

Among person aged 20 years and older, the prevalence rate for diabetes is:

  • 13.3% for Mexican Americans
  • 13.8% for Puerto Ricans
  • 7.6% for Cuban Americans
  • 7.1% for non-Hispanic whites

Excerpted and adapted from Diabetes in Hispanics/Latinos Fact Sheet, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

For more information:

Reviewed by Jason C. Baker, M.D. 4/11

Last Modified Date: March 02, 2015

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
There are two reasons it took me as long as it did to "come out" publicly with diabetes (and hypertension). One was denial: in my mind, I was too young to have type 2 diabetes — a condition I only knew in people over the age of 55 — and the other was fear of public shaming. Turn back the clock several years before my own diagnosis. Our workplace was a bit more stratified, with two editors above me. The elder of the two was somewhat overweight and, like many...
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