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Latino Diabetes Initiative

Joslin Diabetes Center launched the Latino Diabetes Initiative in July 2002. The Latino Initiative is part of the world renowned Joslin Clinic, which means that patients receive the highest quality education and clinical care.

The overall goal of the Initiative is to improve the lives of Latinos affected by diabetes or at risk for the disease through culturally oriented patient care, education, outreach and research.

Risks for Latinos

  • More than half of the growth in the total population of the United States between 2000 and 2010 was due to the increase in the Hispanic population.   
  • 1 in 6 adults has type 2 diabetes and only 58.7% know they have it.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes shortens their lifespan by 10 to 15 years.
  • Approximately 17% of all Latinos in the U.S. have diabetes. In comparison, the prevalence of diabetes in the white population is approximately 8%.
  • Approximately 76% of Hispanic adults in the U.S. have 1 or more cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, diabetes, and/or smoking). 
  • Among Latinos 33.7% of men and 36.0% of women have 3 or more metabolic abnormalities (central obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, hyperglycemia) also known as metabolic syndrome.
  • A Latino child born today has a 50% chance of developing diabetes in his/her lifetime.
  • 25% Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans over 45 years of age have diabetes.
  • Data from the Hispanic Community Study/ Study of Latinos shows that 10.2% of South Americans, 13.4% of Cuban Americans, 17.7 % of Central Americans, 18.0% of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, 18.3% of Mexican Americans have type 2 diabetes and the prevalence is growing.
  • Depression affects 14-16% of Latinos; depressed adults have a 37% increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.   
  • Latinos consider diabetes as the main health concern, well above cancer and other chronic conditions.  

The Latino Diabetes Initiative welcomes philanthropic support. Each contribution advances our mission to improve care, advance research, and provide education and outreach to the Latino community. Each year, the LDI hosts Ritmos de Salud, a cultural performance to benefit the initiative. This year's Ritmos de Salud will be held on October 6, 2016 at the Revere Hotel, Space 57. To learn more about our event visit us on Facebook, or you can purchase tickets here.


The Latino Initiative website has been sponsored by the Verizon Foundation.