The numbers of immigrants living with diabetes in Spain is estimated between 15-25 percent of immigrants, compared to just 12 percent among native Spaniards. “We think there are around 500,000 diabetic immigrants, diagnosed and not, most of whom are Latin American, Moroccan and Pakistani”, explains Josep Franch at the Raval Sud Drassanes medical clinic in Barcelona. Doctors believe the rates are connected to cultural food choices, and are making suggestions to patients; Indians and Pakistanis are being urged to lessen carbohydrate-rich breads, and patients of Moroccan backgrounds are encouraged to eat fewer honey-covered sweets. Besides changes in diet, Franch also notes that the concept of disease varies among cultures. If they aren’t in pain they don’t think they are unwell, but the consequences of diabetes on health occur in the mid- to long-term”, Franch notes.
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