- Publish Date: 08-03-2019 / 3:42 AM
- Category : Health & Wellness
Diabetes epidemic among Hispanics and Latinos: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2003 report states that there are over 1.5 million Hispanic Americans with diabetes; this figure is up from less than 1.2 million back in 1997 and does not include the undiagnosed cases. This Hispanics and diabetes phenomenon and the causes of diabetes will be parts of what this article will be discussing.
The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) also states that compared to Caucasians, Latinos and Hispanics are 1.9 times more likely to acquire diabetes. Below are some of the explanations behind this diabetes epidemic in Hispanics and Latinos communities.
But before we dive deep into the diabetes epidemic in Latinos and Hispanics, let us first talk about the causes of diabetes.
What are the causes of diabetes in general?
Often when people talk about the causes of diabetes, science eventually circles around the pancreas and the production of pancreas juices called enzymes. These enzymes do a lot for our body to function correctly, including helping our digestive systems, breaking down sugars and fats, and making hormones.
One of the primary causes of diabetes, primarily type 1 diabetes, is when the immune systems, which are supposed to help us fight diseases and infections, stop assisting the body. Instead, it attacks the body by destroying the insulin-production of the pancreas. Some believe that this act of the immune system turning against the body is somehow related to the genes; others believe it is due to environmental factors, such as viruses.
Whatever the causes listed above are to blame for the diabetes epidemic is yet to be determined; however, they are primarily out of our control instead of most of the reasons why Hispanics and diabetes have reached epidemic proportions—the topic of this article.
A significant contributor to the onset of Type 2 Diabetes is obesity. According to the NDIC, Hispanic Americans and other minority ethnic groups in the US have higher rates of obesity. Furthermore, the next generation of overweight Hispanics is becoming diabetic progressively earlier.
In this instance, obesity as one of the causes of diabetes is not out of our control; being obese is something that we can do something about if we try. The obesity consequences here are about what we eat and how we eat.
2. Less active lifestyle
When you talk about the diabetes epidemic in America, Hispanics and diabetes discussions top the charts. In this case, the apparent factor is living sedentary lifestyles as the contributing factors to the high rate of diabetes among Hispanics.
Just think about it, how can a person avoid becoming obese and acquiring diabetes if that person is not active or rarely exercises? While genetics is a contributing factor to diabetes, inactive, overweight Hispanic Americans unknowingly pass on their obesity-causing behaviors and unhealthy eating habits to their children.
The diabetes epidemic among Hispanics and Latinos is also attributable to genetics. As mentioned earlier, the causes of diabetes can be genetics, which is a significant risk factor that increases the number of diabetes incidents among Hispanics.
As the NDIC points out, the prevalence of this disease among Hispanics who have first-degree relatives with diabetes was twice as high compared to those who do not have a family history of this disease—so genetics is truly a contributor or causes of diabetes.
The Longevity Code author Dr. Zorba Paster stated that the prevalence of this disease among Hispanics is mainly due to social injustices for the racial minorities in the US. According to Paster, they are disproportionately under-educated and poor. The National Center for Health Statistics points out that poor and under-educated people suffer from more health problems and even die younger.
The author also said that Hispanics and other minorities live, on average, five years less than Caucasians, and diabetes is a significant contributor. Indeed, this is another good reason why you as a Latino should know more about the Hispanics and diabetes epidemic and you as an individual.
5. Healthcare access
Again, the diabetes epidemic in America is alarming. However, Hispanics’ lack of access to proper healthcare also prevents them from learning about the different angles of diabetes, making their matters worse.
The Hispanic Community Health Study/ Study of Latinos found that Hispanics with diabetes have a low enrollment rate in health insurance plans. Indeed, there is a need to promote awareness and glycemic control among these minorities. This is one of the causes of diabetes that should concern the entire nation because Hispanics and Latinos are not paying for this alone. The whole country is paying for the health care costs.
Final thoughts on the diabetic epidemic and the causes of diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that can cause other more severe health issues when left untreated. Hence, it is essential to be aware of this disease’s early symptoms and seek the proper healthcare—to combat this Hispanics and diabetes phenomenon.
Furthermore, Hispanic or not, everyone must maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet to avoid the risk of getting diabetes. The diabetes epidemic is spreading across this country and many other countries as well. I hope this article on the diabetes epidemic among Hispanics and Latinos and knowing the causes of diabetes should help you no matter what race you belong to, whether you are Hispanic or not—do your best to avoid the obesity consequences of acquiring diabetes.
Thank you for reading, and good luck to you! And those are lessons on the diabetes epidemic and causes of diabetes.