Epidemiology of diabetes mellitus in Mexico

Nutr Rev. 2017 Jan;75(suppl 1):4-12. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuw030.


Type 2 diabetes is the main health problem in Mexico. The large and growing number of cases and the remarkable economic impact of the disease support this statement. The condition is expressed at an earlier age and at a lower body mass index in Mexican mestizos compared with the age and body mass index reported in Caucasians. In addition, Mexican mestizos have an increased susceptibility to developing diabetic nephropathy. The Mexican health system needs major adjustments in order to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes. Treatment is not currently based on the needs and expectations of the patient. As a result, it is insufficient, belated, and costly. Close to 20% of the preventable deaths in Mexico are caused by diabetes and related metabolic diseases. Even a small decrease in this rate could result in substantial savings for the Mexican healthcare system.

Keywords: Mexican population; diabetes mellitus; epidemiology; healthcare system; prevention and control.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / economics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Prevalence
  • Socioeconomic Factors