Diabetes in Culturally Diverse Populations: From Biology to Culture

  • A. Enrique CaballeroEmail author
Reference work entry


Diabetes does not equally affect all racial/ethnic groups. Type 2 diabetes is more frequent, while type 1 diabetes is less common among racial/ethnic minorities in the United States in comparison to the non-Hispanic white population. Multiple genetic and acquired factors explain this difference. In some cases, a higher rate of insulin resistance, accumulation of visceral fat, and/or beta cell fatigue may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. Clearly, social and cultural factors also influence the development and course of the disease. As the number of patients from ethnic/racial minorities increases in the United States, health-care providers are in higher need of understanding how to properly interact and guide patients in order to integrate comprehensive, culturally oriented strategies in clinical practice. Whereas the current health-care system does not allow for much time of interaction with patients with diabetes in most clinical settings, the identification of particular biological, social, psychological, cultural, and financial factors in routine clinical care may be of extreme importance to achieve the desired clinical outcomes in diabetes care.


Diabetes Minorities Race Ethnicity Culture Disparities Social 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Joslin Diabetes Center, Latino Diabetes InitiativeHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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