Diabetes, which now is believed to affect around 21 million Americans, is extremely prevalent in the Latino community. Furthermore, Latino patients have been found to be less likely to follow self-treatment and testing than the rest of the diabetes population. The findings have been revealed by GfK Market Measures, in a report entitled the U.S. Latino Diabetes Patient Market Study. The size and type of the Latino market is perceived as an opportunity for pharmaceutical companies.
Diabetic Latino patients account for 2.2 million people, or roughly 16 per cent of the overall diabetic population in the U.S. The GfK study also indicated that generally Latino patients tended to be younger, less affluent and also less well-educated. This had the knock-on effect that Latino patients were also less likely to control their diabetes condition, and keep accurate monitors of their blood glucose levels using self-testing.
Acculturation was also perceived as a problem in the Latino community, with 50 per cent of the diabetic population proficient in only the Spanish language. These unacculturated patients were shown to be less likely to be proactive in their treatment of diabetes, less prone to interact with their doctors, and less healthy overall.
The findings, as well as leading pharmaceutical companies to another market, also highlight the need for specific, ethnically-sensitive education programmes.

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