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Am J Med. 2011 Oct;124(10 Suppl):S2-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.07.017.

Unmet needs in Hispanic/Latino patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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1
University of Florida at Gainesville, FL, USA. cusi@uthscsa.edu

Abstract

In the United States, the prevalence of adults who are overweight or obese is higher in Hispanics/Latinos compared with non-Hispanic whites. In addition, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicate that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus is consistently greater in racial/ethnic minority groups, such as Hispanics/Latinos, compared with non-Hispanic whites. In fact, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 2007 to 2009 suggest that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is almost twice as high in Hispanics/Latinos compared with non-Hispanic whites (11.8% vs. 7.1%, respectively). Although genetics plays a role in the increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Hispanics/Latinos, cultural and environmental factors also contribute. In addition to the increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Hispanics/Latinos, evidence suggests that the patients in this population are often undertreated and, therefore, less likely to achieve control of their glucose, blood pressure, and lipid levels. Because individuals with type 2 diabetes have a 2- to 4-fold increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared with individuals with normal glucose levels, there is consensus that targeting environmental factors, particularly the development of obesity at an early age, is the most cost-effective approach to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and its broad spectrum of complications, including cardiovascular disease. Cultural and socioeconomic barriers, such as language, cost, and access to goods and services, must be overcome to improve management of type 2 diabetes in this high-risk population. By increasing healthcare provider awareness and the availability of programs tailored to Hispanic/Latino individuals, the current treatment gap among ethnic minorities in the United States will progressively narrow, and eventually, disappear.

PMID:
21939795
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.07.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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