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Exploring Barriers to Diabetes Management Among Mexican Immigrants in the U.S: Are Current Interventions Effective?

Silvia Gutierrez


As the prevalence of Diabetes Type 2 or T2DM continues to rise across the United States, Latinos or Mexican Immigrants in particular remain disproportionately affected by this chronic disease. This subpopulation has demonstrated lower rates of adherence to Diabetes Management recommendations such as modifying diet, following medication instructions, regular exercise, and glycemic control. In turn, the medical literature has attributed this outcome primarily to cultural influences, biological predispositions and individual level factors, undermining the role of inequity and intergenerational poverty identified in most low income immigrant communities. Addressing this urgent public health concern will depend on recognizing how the environmental characteristics of a neighborhood such as safety perception, cost and quality of nearby markets, and availability of sidewalks and parks affect a patients ability to properly engage in Diabetes Management activities. Without improving the living conditions of this population and providing infrastructure that supports methods aimed to prevent Diabetes complications, interventions designed to improve Diabetes management in this population will fall short addressing the needs of current patients and future generations.

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