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Am J Med. 2011 Oct;124(10 Suppl):S16-21. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.07.019.

Improving treatment in Hispanic/Latino patients.

Author information

1
Texas Diabetes Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 78284, USA. Eugenio.Cersosimo@uhs-sa.com

Abstract

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus is higher in Hispanic/Latino individuals living in the United States compared with their non-Hispanic white counterparts. Many factors contribute to the increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes, including biological characteristics, socioeconomic conditions, and cultural aspects. The contribution of genetics to the risk of type 2 diabetes in Hispanic/Latino patients is becoming increasingly clear, but this inherent risk factor cannot be modified. However, certain socioeconomic and cultural factors, such as reduced access to healthcare, language barriers, cultural beliefs, and lack of cultural competence by the healthcare provider, are modifiable and should be overcome in order to improve the management of type 2 diabetes in Hispanic/Latino patients. At the healthcare system level, policies should be put into place to reduce disparities between Hispanics/Latinos and non-Hispanic whites regarding health insurance coverage and access to healthcare. At the healthcare provider and patient level, cultural beliefs should be taken into consideration when selecting adequate treatment. Overall, type 2 diabetes management should be individualized by identifying the preferred language and level of acculturation for each patient. These considerations are necessary to further improve communication through culturally appropriate educational materials and programs. These strategies may help to overcome the barriers in the treatment of type 2 diabetes in Hispanic/Latino patients.

PMID:
21939794
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.07.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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