Why Are Hispanics More Likely To Develop Diabetes?

From the NDIC (2005 data):

Hispanic/Latino Americans: After adjusting for population age differences, Mexican Americans, the largest Hispanic/Latino subgroup, are 1.7 times as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. If the prevalence of diabetes among Mexican Americans was applied to the total Hispanic/Latino population, about 2.5 million (9.5 percent) Hispanic/Latino Americans aged 20 years or older would have diabetes. Sufficient data are not available to derive estimates of the total prevalence of diabetes (both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes) for other Hispanic/Latino groups. However, residents of Puerto Rico are 1.8 times as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as non-Hispanic whites in the United States.

Why do you think this is? Why are Hispanics more likely than non-Hispanic white people in the US to be diabetic?

I think it might be genetics. I’m Asian and Asians are also at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes than Caucasians. There could be something about how the genes in different ethnic groups are wired that makes us more or less susceptible to T2 diabetes.

Is that for type 1 or 2? Tony’s mixed so it makes me wonder if that on top of family history on my side (my side being caucasian) just made the chances for this even worse!

That’s definitely type 2, Alison. Non-hispanic caucausians are much more likely to be diagnosed with type 1 - and, in fact, according to almost everything I’ve read - type 1 appears to be most common in people of northern European descent and in specific Mediterranean groups (like Sardinians).

yep, i was referring to type 2 diabetes. research has shown that it is more common people of hispanic and asian/pacific island descent rather than caucasian descent. and nicole’s right - research has also shown that caucasians are more likely to have type 1 diabetes.

I’ve always wondered if our “way” of eating pushed our bodies over the limit of ability to keep healthy. I wonder if the psych. of not wanting to insult someone for fixing something special for us has anything to do with it? Being overweight does not mean automatic diagnoses of diabetes. sigh… this is really a “heart/emotional” question.
Why are we hit with this? What went wrong?Did the blend of cultural foods/added or different ingredients place too high of a carb load on our bodies/or not enough?
MeadowLark… with as many questions/thoughts as you.

I think you are on to the right idea meadowlark, many ethnic groups that have higher incidences of type 2 diabetes come from traditionally nomadic cultures. In the past food wasn’t as readily available, huntering/gathering :wink: societies tend to eat lower fat. higher in veg/fibers/fruits and when western culture moved in the diets and lifestyles changed. More fat and fried food and more processed simple carbs were added to the diets. In addition, the lifestyles became more sedentary, which also contributes to type 2 diabetes risk. Another factor is that after generations and generations of living in an area where food supply wasn’t consistent, bodies adapted and learned to store excess when it was available to sustain themselves when food was scarce. Now generations later bodies are still storing excess when there isn’t as much of a need, leading to weight gain and obesity. Obviously, there are other factors involved, but from what I’ve read the change in lifestyle as a cultural whole plays a large part in it. If I can find the article I read on it I"ll post the link.

Based on my reading, it has to do with what your ancestors ate and their activity level. If they lived on a primarily vegetable, fruit, and grain diet, with nothing but low fat range animal meat as a supplement, there was no need for them to evolve and develop a resistance to lowered insulin sensitivity due to inordinate amounts of fat clogging the cell walls. Caucasians, and eskimos in particular, evolved with diets high in animal fats and those that (fortunately) lived and passed on the resistant genes, gave their ancestors a free pass to enjoy a crappy diet with a lowered risk of T2DM. So, you see, for type twos from high risk backgrounds, the answer lies in adopting the same type of lifestyle your ancestors evolved through and thrived in. Read my blog in the raw foods section here: http://tudiabetes.com/group/rawfooddiabetics where I expound on the importance of fruits in a type two’s diet.

Welcome back to CA, Manny.