Nowadays, Mexican Americans are at increased risk for obesity and diabetes. The author established a cohort on the United States Mexico border to determine the prevalence of obesity and diabetes in this Mexican American population and to see whether minor economic advantages had any effect on health.
By randomly selected and extensively documented 810
people aged 35 to 64 years,the data were analyzed
to establish prevalence of obesity and diabetes and other
markers of poor health such as elevated glycated hemoglobin
Rates of obesity (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2) were 57%
in the first (lower) of 4 socioeconomic strata by income
and were 55.5% in the third (higher). People in the higher
socioeconomic stratum were significantly less likely to
have undiagnosed diabetes (2% vs 9%). Among people aged
55 to 64 years, rates of diabetes were significantly higher
among those in the lower socioeconomic stratum than
among those in the higher stratum. Rates of undiagnosed
diabetes had similar differences. Approximately three fourths
of the respondents reported having no health
insurance, and there is no difference between people in
different socioeconomic strata.
Rates of obesity and diabetes in this border community
are among the highest in the United States. Belonging to
the lower socioeconomic stratum significantly increased
the likelihood of having undiagnosed diabetes and, in
patients too young to be eligible for Medicare, the overall
risk of developing diabetes. Modest improvement in
income has a beneficial effect on health in this racial/ethnic
On the other hand,the use of GIS is to visualize
the spatial distribution of households by income quartile
and the density of sampling. They geocoded households
by using latitude and longitude coordinates collected by
global positioning system, and crosschecked with the
street addresses to ensure accuracy.
Source: Fisher-Hoch, S. P., Rentfro, A. R., Wilson, J. G., Salinas, J. J., Reininger, B. M., Restrepo, B. I., ... & Hanis, C. M. (2010). Peer Reviewed: Socioeconomic Status and Prevalence of Obesity and Diabetes in a Mexican American Community, Cameron County, Texas, 2004-2007. Preventing chronic disease,7(3).