October 20, 2014
Black patients in the United States with diabetes and peripheral arterial disease receive less preventive care and have less success with interventional procedures, resulting in a higher rate of limb amputation, according to a recent report published by The Dartmouth Institute.
“This report reveals significant variation in the approaches to the treatment of diabetes and [peripheral arterial disease] chosen by patients and physicians. These differences are striking, not only for preventive treatments, but also in the use of invasive treatments designed to limit the devastating effects of these diseases,” the researchers wrote. “This report suggests that, while a comprehensive approach is necessary, focusing on black patients in poor, rural regions of the United States is likely to be the best place to start. This approach will have the most impact — and likely the greatest challenge towards implementation — as high limb loss rates have been a part of life for many years in rural portions of the southern United States.”