A recent study funded by the National Eye Institute found that 24% of people of Mexican-American descent are likely to have diabetes by the time they turn 40. About a third of the participants did not know they had diabetes, and 9% had diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to blindness.
"That is a huge number of undiagnosed cases of diabetes," said the study?s leader, Rohit Varma, MD, MPH, of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. It is particularly sad because the condition is both treatable and preventable, according to Dr. Varma. The solution, he said, is bilingual "community-specific, culturally appropriate" awareness programs.