Puerto Rico


Study Site: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Institution(s): FDI Clinical Research of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR; Center for Clinical Research and Health Promotion, University of Puerto Rico – Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, PR
Principal Investigator: Dr. Josiemer Mattei
Co-Investigators: Dr. Kaumudi Joshipura, Dr. Carlos Ríos-Bedoya, Dr. Jose Rodriguez-Orengo
Other team members include: Dr. Lydia Lopez, Ms. Sasha Martinez, Dr. Alan Preston, and Ms. Sandra Soltero.

Puerto Rico at a Glance

Area: 13,790 sq km
Population: 3,620,897
Median age: total 38.7 years
Urban population: 99% of total population
Life expectancy: male 75.46 yr; female:  82.8 yr
Diabetes prevealence: 397,100 cases, 15.5% (national prevalence)
Per capita GDP: $16,300
Languages: Spanish, English


Authentic Puerto Rican food (comida criolla) can be summed up in three words: rice, beans, and meat. It is well-seasoned but rarely spicy.

Plantains are commonly consumed and the primary source of starch, although Puerto Ricans also consume cassava and other tropical tubers. Typical plantain-made foods include “mofongo” (plantains mashed, fried, and mashed again, when filled up (relleno) with seafood) and “tostones” (twice deep-fried plantain chips).

Tropical fruits are plentiful, especially mangoes, papayas, pineapples, bananas, coconuts, and guavas.



The World Factbook, 2013-2014. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2013.

IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th Edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2014.