HealthDay News — According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, Hispanic-American type 2 diabetes patients who lack proficiency in English are much less likely than non-Hispanic patients to take newly prescribed diabetes medications as directed.

Alicia Fernandez, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues tracked data from 30,383 insured patients in California.

The researchers found that 60.2% of Spanish-speaking Hispanic patients did not take newly prescribed diabetes drugs as directed. 

Continue Reading

That’s compared to 51.7% of English-speaking Hispanics and 37.5% of white patients, the researchers said.

Another study in the same issue of the journal was led by Melissa Parker of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. Her team found that blood glucose control could improve for Hispanic type 2 diabetes patients with limited English skills — but only when they switched from a primary care doctor who only spoke English to a doctor who primarily spoke Spanish to their patients.


Fernández A, et al. “Adherence to Newly Prescribed Diabetes Medications Among Insured Latino and White Patients With Diabetes.” JAMA Intern Med. 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8653. [Epub ahead of print]

Parker MM, et al. “Association of Patient-Physician Language Concordance and Glycemic Control for Limited–English Proficiency Latinos With Type 2 Diabetes.” JAMA Intern Med. 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8648. [Epub ahead of print]

Alvidrez J and Pérez-Stable EJ. “Diabetes Care in Latinos With Limited English Proficiency: What Do Language Concordant Clinicians Add?” JAMA Intern Med. 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8661. [Epub ahead of print]

Related Articles