Limb Loss More Common in Poor Neighborhoods
Poor neighborhoods in California often become amputation hot spots for people with diabetes, a study found. Using medical records, researchers identified 6,763 people with diabetes ages 45 and older who had undergone a limb amputation in 2009. Residents of neighborhoods where more than 40 percent of households had incomes below 200 percent of poverty had twice the amputation rates of those in which fewer than 10 percent of households were below that line. A lack of access to primary care is one of the major reasons for the disparity. Recent Medicaid expansions in some states may ease the problem but won’t totally solve it. What’s needed, researchers say, is a “team care” approach including diabetes and foot experts.
Source: Health Affairs, August 2014