Navigation Links
African Americans have 5 times higher amputation rate

CHICAGO The overall amputation rate in northern Illinois is declining due to improved care for diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, new research shows.

But not everyone is reaping the benefits.

A new study from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine has found people in African American communities on Chicagos South and West Side have a five times higher rate of lower limb amputations than people in the predominantly white suburbs and exurbs.

Amputations are the canary in the coal mine for quality of care," said Joe Feinglass, lead author and research professor of medicine at the Feinberg School. Many amputations are preventable. This means the primary care for minority people may not be very good. "

Feinglass said the high rate of amputations means people are not being closely monitored. "They come in with gangrene or a skin ulcer that comes to the attention of a doctor really late and nothing can be done," he said. "They have to take their leg off.

This is the first longitudinal study -- nationally or locally -- to examine amputation trends over nearly 20 years. Most studies of amputation rates look at one point in time.

The study will be published in the May issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery.

The high amputation rate for minorities in Chicago likely reflects other racial disparities in healthcare, Feinglass said. "Diabetes is a condition that is highly susceptible to quality of care. Amputation rates give you a basic idea of how the system is performing."

It was known in the late 1990s that African Americans were more likely to have an amputation than whites. But as the national trend of amputations declined in the early 2000's, Feinglass wanted to see if the gap closed or at least narrowed.

The study examined hospital discharge data from the Illinois Department of Public Health for nine counties in northern Illinois encompassing more than eight million people. Feinglass then broke the statistics into three rings of the metropolitan area based on their zip codes.

He found that amputations in the suburban and exurban areas with a primarily white population dropped to 12 per 100,000 in 2004 from 14 in 1987. The largely African American area on the South and West Side actually increased to 63 amputations from 60. The inner suburbs and other areas of Chicago, with between 10 and 50 percent African American population and a large Hispanic population, held fairly steady at 20 amputations per 100,000.

About half of the people who have amputations are diabetic patients with decreased circulation to the feet. Almost all who have amputations are smokers, a habit that can cause hardening of the arteries and clots in the legs.

"These people get sores on their feet that don't heal," Feinglass said. "They develop an ulcer that can often turn into something worse if it's not treated right away."

The high amputation rate is linked to lack of access to primary care and specialty care for diabetic patients and patients with vascular disease. In addition, patients without diabetes may not get a screening for peripheral arterial disease, an inexpensive test to indicate risk factors for circulation problems.

To address these problems, Feinglass said communities need diabetes management programs with nurses to help people control their blood sugar.

"Those are the kinds of programs we know would pay off in the inner city. When blood sugar is lower, there is a lower amputation rate," Feinglass said. Vascular surgeons and podiatrists are also needed in these areas.

"An amputation is a horrible thing to have anybody go through," Feinglass said. "We have to do better at preventing these."


Contact: Marla Paul
Northwestern University

Related medicine news :

1. Statement by H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Chairman of the African Union, in Response to UN-SG Call to Action on Malaria
2. Government and Corporate Support Together Help Africans Battling Malaria, AIDS
3. International health experts to enlist the public in war on African malaria
4. African medical research and training receives Wellcome boost
5. African Journey of a Lifetime With Alicia Keys! - Documentary Follows Keep a Child Alives Outreach to Communities Affected With HIV/AIDS
6. African Americans at Risk for Low Calcium Intake - New Survey Finds Those Experiencing Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance May be Sidelining Dairy in Their Diets
7. African Americans less likely than whites to get colonoscopy despite family history of colon cancer
8. CDC Data Show 80 Percent Increase in HIV Among Young African American Men Who Have Sex With Men
9. South African Hospital Uses Packard Childrens as Model for Nurse Retention
10. Gene expression differences between Europeans and Africans affect response to drugs, infections
11. African Americans Show Facial Aging in Eyes Earlier Than Caucasians
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced today that he joined ... offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including exclusive pricing on a ... cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, discounted fares, travel gifts ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs in ... by healthcare professionals and offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group . ... the month of October 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through the company’s ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... process, participated in the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference ... Sunday, November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference was held at ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Karnataka (PRWEB) , ... November ... ... innovative online platform for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with ... to holistically address their reader’s queries on topics on mental and emotional ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Additional ... those found on mammography, according to a study published online in the journal ... seen on mammography may necessitate a change in treatment. , Breast MRI is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Carolina , 26 november 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... (AAIPharma/CML) kondigt de geplande investering aan van ... van de laboratoria en het mondiale hoofdkantoor ... De uitbreiding zal resulteren in extra kantoorruimte ... voldaan aan de groeiende behoeften van de ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... SAN FRANCISCO , November 26, 2015 ... 1.82 billion by 2022, according to a new report by ... as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which demands kidney transplantation is ... convenient and cost effective substitute for organ transplantation. --> ... 1.82 billion by 2022, according to a new report by ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Juntendo universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda ... magnetresonansbilder (MR-bilder) för patienter med multipel ... ett forskningsavtal med SyntheticMR AB för att ... forskningsprojekt på sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: