Hispanics and Diabetes Fact Sheet


Diabetes in the Hispanic/Latino Community
Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death among Hispanics/Latinos in the United States and the 4th leading cause of death among Hispanic women and elderly.

  • More than two million (or 8.2 percent) of the Hispanic/Latino Americans living in the U.S. who are over 20 years of age have diabetes and many more remain undiagnosed; 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
  • On average, Hispanic/Latino Americans are 1.5 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites of similar age. These percentages are even higher for certain ethnic groups: Mexican Americans, the largest Hispanic/Latino sub-group in the U.S., are more than twice as likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites of similar age, and residents of Puerto Rico are 1.8 times as likely.
  • Hispanics/Latinos are at higher risk of developing and dying from diabetes, and twice as likely as other populations to experience complications such as heart disease, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, amputations and nerve damage.

The Impact on Hispanic/Latino Sub-Groups in the U.S.:


  • Approximately 24% of Mexican Americans between the ages of 45 and 74 have diabetes.
  • The rate of type 2 diabetes is 110 % higher among Mexican Americans than among non-Hispanic whites.
  • Among people with diabetes, Mexican Americans are 4.5 to 6.6 times more likely to suffer from end-stage renal disease.

Puerto Ricans:

  • 26% of Puerto Ricans between the ages of 45 and 74 have diabetes.
  • The rate of type 2 diabetes among Puerto Ricans is 120% higher than among non-Hispanic whites.


  • Nearly 16% of Cuban Americans in the United States between the ages of 45 and 74 have diabetes.

Barriers for Hispanics to Managing Diabetes: According to the American Diabetes Association, patient education is critical to enable Latino Americans to control their diabetes and reduce their likelihood of complications. Key factors include education, access to information, screening for diabetes and regular monitoring by a healthcare team who are experts in diabetes. Recommendations include providing bilingual diabetes education and generating awareness of diabetes management fundamentals. Learning and practicing the skills necessary to test and set goals for their blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure levels is also recommended.

About LifeScan
LifeScan, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company and the maker of OneTouch® Brand Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems, is committed to creating a world without limits for people with diabetes by providing fast, accurate and easy-to-use products. LifeScan participates in health fairs and works closely with diabetes health educators and community-based organizations, as well as the media, to educate the Hispanic community about the importance of effective diabetes management. LifeScan has bilingual operators available to answer questions at 800 381-7226 and a Spanish-language consumer Web site at

Page Posted: December 2005