Diabetes in a primary care center among Spaniards and immigrants

  • Montserrat Roca Vilalta
  • Agueda Castaño Perez
  • Charo Lopez Moya
  • Mercedes Lopez Olivares
Keywords: Diabetes, Emigration and Immigration, Spain


Diabetes is a disease with different prevalence in different populations.

Objectives: The aim of the present study is to describe diabetic patients in a primary care center with regard to their geographic origin, and to determine the status of their disease.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study, with data available from clinical records in South Tarrasa primary care center (Barcelona, Spain) in 2004.

Results: A total of 1215 diabetic patients with an average age of 65 years, 51% female, were included in the study. Regarding their origin, 97% were from Spain, 2% from Morocco, 0.8% from Latin America, and 0.2% from the rest of Europe. The average Hb1AC was 6.9%. In type 2 diabetic patients, treatment consisted of oral hypoglycemic agents (OHA) for 46.6%, only dietetic restrictions for 36.5%, OHA + insulin for 7.9%, and only insulin for 9%. In the age group 30-39 years, 0.7% of Moroccans suffer from diabetes versus 0.5% of Spaniards. The values in the 40-49 year group are 3.9% of Moroccans, 3% of Spaniards, and 2.1% of Latin Americans. The values in the 50-59 year group are 13.5% of Moroccans, 10.6% of Spaniards, and 7.7% of Latin Americans. The values in the 60-69 year group are 40% of Moroccans, 18.8% of Spaniards, and 44.5% of Latin Americans. The values in the 70-79 year group are 67% of Moroccans, 26% of Spaniards, and 50% of Latin Americans. The average Hb1AC was 6.3% in Latin Americans, 6.9% in Spaniards, and 8.1% in Moroccans. In type 1 diabetic patients, the average Hb1AC was 10.2% in Moroccans and 8% in Spaniards; while in type 2 diabetes, the average Hb1AC was 7.8% in Moroccans and 6.9% in Spaniards. Gestational diabetes was observed in 6.1% of the Spanish, 10.9% of the Moroccan and 4.2% of the Latin American women.

Conclusions: A higher prevalence of diabetes was detected in Moroccans than in patients from other countries. These patients present poor control of the disease.


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