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

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by Brenda Bell
Like many of us who live near major cities, I've been to a few ADA Diabetes Expos — my first in November, 2003, just over a year after diagnosis. The Expo took up a large part of New York City's Javits Center; most of the major meter, insulin, pump, and pill manufacturers were there; there were enough food vendors (with free samples!)...