Amputations related to diabetes more likely among black, Latino patients

Amputations that are a result of diabetic complications are a life-changing action when the disease spirals out of control. As the prevalence of the disease continues to rise––30 million Americans are estimated to have diabetes––black and Latino patients are more likely to have an amputation compared to non-Hispanic whites, CNN reports.

The difference is especially stark in California, where black or Latino patients were more than twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to undergo amputations related to diabetes. The state had more than 82,000 amputations in 2017, CNN cited a Kaiser Health News.

The procedures are a drastic response that can have detrimental effects on patients and their families. Many are unable to work after an amputation related to diabetes, while roughly 75% of people with diabetes who have lower-limb amputations die within a five-year period.

In addition, the cost is huge.

“By far, government program­­––Medicaid and Medicare––pay for the most amputations,” CNN reported.

Fortunately, there are ways to keep diabetes manageable for many patients. Foot exams, in addition to other basic measures to control diabetes, such as diet and exercise, can have a positive impact on reducing and preventing amputations.

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