Amputations more common with diabetes patients in poor areas

By Jennifer Pilgrim,

A new study released from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles reveals that people who have diabetes in the poorest areas of California are about two times more likely to have their feet or legs amputated than those living with the disease in wealthier areas.

Reuters reports that Dr. Carl D. Stevens, who leads of the study, found that most patients lost the limbs due to lack of diabetic care. The "safety nets" that exist in the medical society are often full of holes, he explains. Emergency rooms and government-backed insurance programs are not as openly available as they should be.

People who have poorly controlled diabetes are more often at risk for loss of feeling and poor blood flow into their extremities, including the hands and feet. This can cause ulcers and infections, and untreated complications can lead to removal of the infected appendage.

“If you take the poorest town and compared it to the wealthiest, you get about a ten-time increase in risk,” Dr. Stevens told WTAQ News. Lower income neighborhoods often times have less awareness of the disease and the corresponding consequences when lack of treatment occurs.

Communities are expanding outreach programs across California to lessen the extreme side of diabetes, and people are encouraged to keep track of their health and any changes in their bodies that may seem off.



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