Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Black Health Update - Diabetes & Amputations

A problematic symptom of having Diabetes or "sugar" is poor circulation, especially in the feet and legs (lower extremities) and poor healing of any sores and wounds. It is so important for people with diabetes to take really good care of their feet and to be careful. What happens is the the arteries aren't getting enough fresh or oxygenated blood to the lower parts of the body. Without this fresh blood, the body has a hard time getting all of the energy it needs to keep the muscles working in top condition. Combine poor circulation with poor movement, being over weight, and poor nutrition and it can inevitably lead to ulcers or festering sores in the lower extremities. If patients or their caretakers don't take them to the doctor soon enough it can lead to an amputation, often of a leg or foot.

Health researchers at Northwestern University, in Chicago have summarized a 20 year of study of diabetes patients in the Chicago area and found that black patients, primarily from the south and west sides are more likely to have a limb amputated. They found that African Americans have 5 times higher amputation rate than whites.

“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. "
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."

Read the entire article on ScienceBlog.

Stay Healthy. Stay Informed


Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

way to spread the knowledge, i am a scientist too, what is your field? and do chk me out when u can

The Urban Scientist said...

Oh, I check you out all of the time. How's the 'dog house' coming along?

I'm in life sciences.

DeWayne McCulley (The National Diabetes Educator) said...

Great information -- here's some info about preventing the amputations:
Here is an introduction by a doctor at a medical conference:

Here's part of a TV interview on NBC:
Here's part of an interview with a NYC cardiologist:

Diabetes overview & Nutritional strategy video:

What causes diabetes, engineering methodologies:



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