Analysis of the Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in Mexicans and Mexican Americans.

TitleAnalysis of the Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in Mexicans and Mexican Americans.
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsSobolik, Julia Silva
Academic DepartmentBiology
Thesis AdvisorHill, Erin R.
DegreeHonors Baccalaureate of Arts in International Studies in Biology
Number of Pages66
Date Published06/2007
UniversityOregon State University
KeywordsAcculturation, environmental factors, genetic factors, Mexican Americans, obesity, Type 2 diabetes

Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), commonly known as type 2 or delayed onset diabetes, is a recognized growing global epidemic, which is connected to cultural and behavioral factors, such as diet, exercise, obesity, and genetics. In a recent survey of both men and women in Mexico City, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes was found to be 14.9 % and in this same survey of Mexican Americans, there was found to be 25.7 % prevalence. It is possible to see with these statistics that there are particularly high rates of type 2 diabetes in Mexicans and, furthermore, an even more elevated incidence is found in Mexican Americans.
While type 2 diabetes and obesity both have genetic and environmental determinants, research has shown that with healthy diets and active lifestyles, genetic predispositions to these diseases can be reversed. This research strongly suggests a relationship to the acculturation process--changing behavior and assimilation to the diet, behaviors, and lifestyles of a particular society-in the United States and indicates a correlation between the adverse affects of the American culture and health. There is a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Mexican Americans than in Mexicans, due to the acculturation process experienced in the United States, in addition to the cultural and behavioral factors found in both populations of genetics, physical activity, and high obesity rates.