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Disparities in Health: Diabetes Type 2 in Hispanics

Info: 1159 words (5 pages) Nursing Literature Review
Published: 18th May 2020

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Tagged: diabeteschronic illness

Disparities in Health; Diabetes Type 2 in Hispanics

Health disparities are prevalent globally. The disparities occur within the social groupings of the world population. It takes an array of dimensions such as a long socioeconomic status, age, gender, race, sexual orientation, disability status, and ethnicity. The differences experienced in healthcare limit the country’s health plans as well as causes both mental and social effects to the affected populations. Hispanics encompasses individuals of Cuban, Mexican, South and Central American, Spanish and Puerto Rican cultures. Majority of the populations of these cultures are disadvantaged socially and economically. Therefore, the paper aims at evaluating the disparities in diabetes type 2 (T2D) among the Hispanics through literature review.

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 A Hispanic individual have the highest chance of developing diabetes Type 2 (T2D). According to studies, US adults have 40% probability of suffering from T2D. However, Hispanic adults show 50% probability of developing the disease and related health complications.  The Hispanic have higher risk of kidney failure and vision loss due diabetes than non-Hispanic individuals. The disease occurs due to either an individual’s pancreas releasing insufficient insulin or the somatic cells failing to react to insulin (Laakso, 2016). Insulin controls the glucose level in the human body. According to Laakso (2016), the symptoms of the disease among the Hispanic individuals include; weight loss, frequent thirst, and passing of urine often, especially during night. Besides, a person suffering from T2D feels tired and loss of muscle bulk. From the research, T2D is the most common over gestational and type1 diabetes among the Hispanic population. The Hispanic individuals feel less privileged due to historical injustices in the world.

 The Hispanic individuals have higher risks of developing T2D than other non- Hispanic persons living within the same locality. The Hispanic people have risk factors that contribute to the condition. The first risk factor is Hispanic genetic background. According scientific studies, Hispanic genes increase their chances of developing the condition. According to Mercader & Florez (2017), the contemporary Hispanics have diverse genetic background. The history of the Hispanics points to different ancestries such as Africa, indigenous Americans, European, and Mexicans. Also, the groups intermarried to give rise to new generations. The dark-skinned Hispanics have strong African ancestry than the light-skinned Hispanics. According to the study by GWAS, which involved genotype amputation, different genetic origin relates uniquely to the condition. However, several researches are undergoing to find out the relationship between T2D and the genes of the Hispanic individuals.

The diet of the Hispanics contributes to the T2D. The Hispanics observe diet that is rich in fats and calories. The culture of the Hispanics is marred with social and family celebrations, consequently causing overeating (Piccolo et al., 2016). The culture embraces feasting with declining food considered impolite. Fatty foods contains two types of fats; saturated and unsaturated fats. The unsaturated fats are either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. Fats require high calories to burn, which causes sugar imbalance in the body. Also, the fats deposit into adipose tissues, which produces sugar elements during metabolic reactions.

 The Hispanics have a culture that does not embrace bodyweight control thus making them prone to the T2D. The Hispanics and the Latinos in USA have high probability of obesity (Piccolo et al., 2016). Some of the Hispanic cultures advocates for overweight as a sign of both health and wealth. Besides, the Hispanics in comparison to the non- Hispanics do not love exercises; thus, the lifestyle and culture makes the Hispanics prone to T2D.

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T2D among the Hispanics is manageable through it suffers setbacks.  The first solution to theT2D for the Hispanics is to control and manages one’s blood sugar levels.  The process involves physiotherapy, medicinal drugs, and controlled diet. Anybody suffering from T2D should feed on food with low sugar and cholesterol contents.  Also, making a physical workout plan that encourages regular exercises helps fight the condition. Exercise burns both cholesterol and blood sugar while improving blood pressure in the body. Healthcare practitioners encourage regular medical checkups and taking of drugs when necessary.  Heisler et al. (2016), the Hispanics suffering from T2D, should visit diabetes self- management education and support (DSMES) for services. DSMES offers blood sugar level evaluation through blood pressure and cholesterol level management. Another remedy for Hispanic individuals to assist in fighting T2D is to undergo early diagnosis to find if one is prediabetes. The prediabetes persons then join Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The programs sensitizes individual on management of diabetes and risk factors. The YMCA, community hospitals, African American Churches and community organizations have joined the DPP programs and are sponsoring several diabetes interventions particularly in USA (Heisler et al., 2016).

In conclusion, the study has shown Hispanics have diabetes type 2 disparities. The disparity occurs due to genetics, culture, type of food, and activities that Hispanic practice. The Hispanics love fatty diet within their festive culture; the digestion of fats requires high calories, causing sugar imbalance in the body. Besides, history of the Hispanics points to different places of origin, which studies have confirmed makes them genetically vulnerable to T2D. The disparity is manageable through a change in lifestyle, both diets, and exercise. In USA, organizations are working with government to reduce the T2D disparities among the Hispanics.


  • Heisler, M., Kaselitz, E., Rana, G., & Piette, J. (2016). Diabetes Prevention Interventions in Latin American Countries: a Scoping Review. Current Diabetes Reports, 16(9). doi:10.1007/s11892-016-0778-7
  • Laakso, M. (2016). Epidemiology of type 2 diabetes. In Type 2 Diabetes (pp. 15-26). CRC Press.
  • Mercader, J., & Florez, J. (2017). The Genetic Basis of Type 2 Diabetes in Hispanics and Latin Americans: Challenges and Opportunities. Frontiers In Public Health, 5. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2017.00329
  • Piccolo, R. S., Subramanian, S. V., Pearce, N., Florez, J. C., & McKinlay, J. B. (2016). Relative contributions of socioeconomic, local environmental, psychosocial, lifestyle/behavioral, physiological, and ancestral factors to racial/ethnic disparities in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes care, 39(7), 1208-1217.


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