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South Med J. 1999 Jun;92(6):593-9.

Diabetes-related lower-extremity amputations disproportionately affect Blacks and Mexican Americans.

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Department of Orthopaedics, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, USA.



We sought to identify the age-adjusted incidence of lower-extremity amputation (LEA) in Mexican Americans, blacks, and non-Hispanic whites with diabetes in south Texas.


We summarized medical records for hospitalizations for LEAs for 1993 in six metropolitan statistical areas in south Texas.


Age-adjusted incidence per 10,000 patients with diabetes was 146.59 in blacks, 60.68 in non-Hispanic whites, and 94.08 in Mexican Americans. Of the patients, 47% of amputees had a history of amputation, and 17.7% were hospitalized more than once during 1993. Mexican Americans had more diabetes-related amputations (85.9%) than blacks (74.7%) or non-Hispanic whites (56.3%).


This study is the first to identify the incidence of diabetes-related lower-extremity amputations in minorities using primary data. Minorities had both a higher incidence and proportion of diabetes-related, LEAs compared with non-Hispanic whites. Public health initiatives and national strategies, such as Healthy People 2000 and 2010, need to specifically focus on high-risk populations and high-risk geographic areas to decrease the frequency of amputation and reamputation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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