Diabetes is more common and a bigger problem today than in years past. The diabetes rate is increasing two times as fast in Latinos and African Americans than in whites.

More about diabetes rate in Latinos

The diabetes rate has increased in recent decades. There are many reasons why diabetes has increased over time including environment, behavioral factors, better detection and diagnostic testing, and demographic changes to the US population. Type 2 diabetes is on the rise and makes up 90-95% of all diabetes. The increase in type 2 diabetes has generally followed the increase in obesity. Obesity is defined in this study as BMI of 30 or higher. As we know, obesity is a big factor in the development of type 2 diabetes.

As a result, diabetes is a major public health concern that calls for prevention and management programs. This study uses data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 1980 to 2012 to look at trends in diagnosed diabetes from the adult US population aged 20 to 79 years. The diabetes rate has doubled from 1990 to 2008, but it has started to slow down from 2008 to 2012. Despite this slow down in many US racial/ethnic groups, diabetes actually continues to increase in Latino and African American populations.

Education level is also a factor in diabetes. For example, the number of people with diabetes is increasing in adults who have high school education or less compared with those who have more than a high school education. African Americans and Latinos experienced an increase in diabetes twice as large compared to whites. In conclusion, the diabetes rate in Latinos is increasing and has become a bigger public health concern today than in years past.

See our resource page for more information about Latinos and Diabetes

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