Minorities With Severe Leg Blockages at Higher Risk of
THURSDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Minority patients suffering
from severe arterial blockages in their lower limbs face a greater
chance of amputation than white patients, new research
The finding held even after accounting for other potentially
influential factors, such as patient income and insurance status.
But the researchers added that it seemed to reflect upon the
relatively lower socioeconomic status of minority patients, as well
as the less well-equipped types of hospitals at which they tend to
"Minority patients tend to have more comorbidities -- including diabetes, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and renal failure -- that influence treatment options, as they are more likely to receive care at low-volume and potentially under-resourced hospitals," study senior author Dr Louis L. Nguyen said in a news release from the Society for Vascular Surgery. "These factors, independently and in combination, are associated with a greater likelihood of major amputation."
Nguyen, who works in the division of vascular and endovascular
surgery and the Center for Surgery and Public Health at Brigham and
Women's Hospital in Boston, reported the team's findings in the
February issue of
The current finding stems from a national review of nearly
960,000 cases involving lower extremity revascularization or major
amputation between 2003 and 2007.
Information regarding instances of limb arterial blockage was
collected from among this pool of patients, who were all aged 21
After dividing the patients into one of four income categories,
the research team found that those in the bottom three income
groups were between 11 percent and 34 percent more likely to
undergo an amputation than those in the highest income group.
Native Americans were the most likely to fall into the lowest
income bracket, followed by blacks and Hispanics.
Those who had private insurance tended to be in the higher
income brackets, the study authors found, and seemed to face a
lower risk for undergoing a major amputation.
Patients who sought care at a lower-volume hospital, which tend
to have fewer specialists, had a 15 times higher risk for
undergoing an amputation than patients attending the highest-volume
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