Joined the programme in 2018

Cities Changing Diabetes in Mérida has leveraged its academic and local government partnerships to conduct research regarding the prevalence of diabetes in the city. This research will guide interventions targeting people living with diabetes who do not have health insurance or access to public healthcare institutions. 

Merida, Mexico.

Mérida has a diabetes prevalence of 13.13%1, which is lower than the national prevalence in Mexico of 16.9%2. However, the percentage of adults who are living with obesity (73.3%1) is considerably higher than the national prevalence of 38.1%3. As obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, the city's high prevalence of overweight residents will likely lead to a dramatic rise in diabetes.

In Mérida, many people are living with diabetes-related complications. Approximately half of the people living with type 2 diabetes in the city report having decreased vision, and more than 15% have retinal damage, kidney damage or injuries that last longer than four weeks in their feet or legs. Of those living with diabetes, 23.3% also have hypertension.1

Key facts and figures



of adults in Mérida are living with diabetes1



of adults in Mérida are living with obesity1



half of people living with type 2 diabetes in Mérida report having decreased vision1



of people living with diabetes in Mérida also have hypertension1

Understanding not only who is living with diabetes but also how those with diabetes are living will help Cities Changing Diabetes in Mérida conceptualise and roll out appropriate interventions to reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.

Cities Changing Diabetes Mérida partnered with Novo Nordisk, the Autonomous University of Yucatan and the Municipality of Mérida to develop and conduct a study to determine the prevalence of diabetes in urban areas of the municipality of Mérida and to identify the factors impacting geographical differences. The research was carried out in 2020-2021, and the results were presented and published at the end of 2021. Five faculties from the university were involved in the research study and are expected to publish additional research articles.

Based on the study's results, Cities Changing Diabetes in Mérida will focus on improving the lives of those living with diabetes through evidence-based interventions that affect the management of diabetes and the prevention of diabetes-related complications. Moving forward, the Municipality of Mérida will work on creating or adapting existing public policies to improve public health and prevent diabetes. 

"Thanks to this study carried out in coordination with Novo Nordisk and the Autonomous University of Yucatan, Mérida will have a database that will allow us to develop detection and care programmes that put a stop to this disease in the municipality"

—  Renán Barrera Concha, Mayor of Mérida.


Download Urban Diabetes Declaration


Mérida Changing Diabetes. Changing Diabetes in Mérida: Factors and experiences associated with Diabetes Mellitus. 2021.


International Diabetes Federation (IDF). IDF Diabetes Atlas 10th edition. 2021. Accessed March 2022.


Romero-Martínez M, Barrientos-Gutiérrez T, Cuevas-Nasu L, et al. Metodología de la Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición 2020 sobre Covid-19. salud pública de méxico. 2021;63(3 May-Jun):444-451.