Amputation Risk Higher in Low-Income Neighborhoods

Risky communities for amputations?In low-income neighborhoods, there are many health risks. Sadly, we can now add diabetes-associated amputation to that list of health risks. In a new study published in Health Affairs, California neighborhoods with high amputation rates had a greater concentration of households below the federal poverty level. These patients were most likely to be male, non-English speaking minorities older than 65.

Carl Stevens, lead author of the study, and clinical professor of medicine at UCLA, states “Neighborhoods where highest rates were seen tend to be where first-generation immigrants lived as their first neighborhood.”

How can we as a community and families fight back and prevent this prevalence of amputation? Research shows that earlier diagnosis and treatment is a major way to prevent amputation. Also, patients must manage their diabetes properly so that their immunity to bacterial infection is higher.

A diabetes patient may feel that all is well, but if numb nerves in the feet contribute to a blister or cut, he or she is often unaware until the limb develops a life-threatening infection. Dr. Stevens explains, “Patients that don’t have adequate care will put off seeking care until their foot is red, swollen and obviously infected. They’ll go to the emergency room, where they find the infection is too far and often need amputation beginning at the toe to further up the leg.”

Diabetic patients need a team of health professionals who provide a high level of care. They should be able to depend on expert advice and treatment from their primary care physician, nutritionist, and pharmacist.

Here at Brian’s Pharmacies, we are absolutely dedicated to improving the health of our community. We want each one of our customers to live a full and healthy life.

We provide the free program Dose Alert, which reminds you to take your medication in the proper amount at the proper time. We can also help you and your family with prescription delivery. Our staff is always ready to help you with questions or concerns about your medication and treatment. Stop in, call, or email us. We care about your health. 

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