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Across the nation, Black and Latino patients are undergoing amputations at an alarming rate due to complications from type-2 diabetes, which makes it difficult for the pancreas to create insulin. According to ABC News, medical researchers believe that the growing healthy disparity is connected to peripheral artery disease (PAD), a circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs.

Amputations, Black people, type-2 diabetes, PAD, Latino

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Severe cases of PAD can cause extreme damage to affected limbs, leading to amputation. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 1 in 3 Black adults may develop PAD compared to 1 in 5 hispanic or white adults.

According to data from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the number of diagnosed diabetics nationwide has increased by over 7% since 2001. Over the same period, there has been an 18% rise in the number of individuals requiring limb amputations, with approximately 154,000 toes, arms, legs, and feet being amputated annually.

The upward trend in both diabetic diagnoses and amputations cuts across all racial and ethnic groups. However, a September health study revealed a stark discrepancy. Black and Latino diabetics are four times more likely to undergo amputations compared to other ethnicities.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention noted that lower-limb amputations, which is surgery to remove a toe, foot, or leg, soared across the U.S. between 2009 and 2019 by 80%. The number of diabetes-related hospitalizations due to amputation also doubled.


Doctors are ignoring the problem. 

Charlotte based cardiologist Dr. Richard Browne believes the growing disparity in the Black and Latino community is due to misdiagnosis and late treatment.

“Very often their symptoms are ignored,” Browne told ABC News. The health expert said a late diagnosis and lack of treatment is what led to the amputation of his diabetic father- in-law’s legs and arm before his death in 2003.

“I also feel that there is what we call unconscious bias, where sometimes you get in front of a patient and you make your own determination that, ‘Hey, you know, maybe he can’t come back three or four times for the appropriate care for his PAD. So I’m going to do him a favor and just amputate, delay and get it over with at this point,’” he added.


Controlling diabetes is key. 

Being overweight or obese can significantly increase the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Those who are at risk of developing the condition, should strive to maintain a healthy weight through a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise. Experts say a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grants can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Limiting consumption of processed foods, sugary snacks and high-calorie beverages can also help.


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The post Diabetic Amputations On The Rise Among Black Patients, Data Suggests appeared first on NewsOne.

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