Why Are Black People Losing Limbs More Often?
Now more than ever, Blacks and African Americans are losing lower extremity limbs. In recent years, there has been a stark difference in the amputation rates in Black and white communities. Much of the difference has been attributed to the numerous health disparities affecting African Americans more than their white counterparts. The lower limb amputation scourge has devastating health and social impact, particularly on Black and African American communities. So, what reasons can be cited for the increased amputation rates among Black and African American people?
Lack of Access to Quality Health Care
The healthcare system in the U.S. has been plagued with inequalities that disproportionately affect the Black and African American communities. These inequalities widen the gaps in uneven access to quality health care and poorer patient outcomes among Black communities.
Particularly, wound care and treatment among patients in these communities has been a concerning issue. Black and African American people living with diabetes and peripheral arterial disease are at an increased risk of having their lower limbs amputated compared to white patients.
With access to quality health care, it is possible to detect and treat such diseases before progression to the advanced stage. These diseases are the leading causes of limb amputations in the U.S, and their prevalence in African Americans communities explains the high amputation rates in these communities.
Inadequate Physical Exercise and Mobility
While Black and African American people are now living longer, they are still less physically active compared to other ethnic groups. Inadequate physical activity among Black communities is a concerning issue as it has been recognized as a chief cause of mobility problems and early mortality. Further, the lack of adequate physical exercise has been linked with diseases such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
Physical exercise and mobility also help protect individuals against the risk factors of chronic diseases, such as hypertension, obesity, and overweight. In African American communities, social norms and values often get in the way of living a physically active life. What’s more, socioeconomic status plays a significant part when it comes to determining how physically active African American people are.
By adopting various forms of physical exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging, running, or swimming, African Americans can live healthier lives. This, in extension, would mean fewer lower limb amputations as physical activity helps prevent chronic conditions and risk factors.
Highly Processed Foods in Diet
There’s no doubt that a healthy diet is crucial to a healthy life. Poor nutrition and consumption of highly processed food are leading causes of diet-related chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and stroke. Most of these diseases are directly linked to premature death, with CVD and diabetes being risk factors for lower limb amputation.
Originally, Blacks ate a diet that met the nutritional requirements for fat, fiber, fruits, and vegetables. However, there has been a worrying dietary shift among African American communities. In these communities, “Southern food” has become a staple, meaning that more Black and African American people are consuming fried and highly processed foods.
Not only are these foods lacking in nutritional value but are more likely to cause conditions that are risk factors for limb amputation. As a combative measure, Black and African American people should be sensitized to the benefits of integrating fruits and vegetables in their diet for a healthy life. In his book, 5 Colors to a Day to Better Health, Dr. Bill Releford, D.P.M, emphasizes the need to eat the God-given colorful fruits and vegetables for their nutritional and healing benefits.
Fewer Avenues for Promoting Health Awareness
African Americans are less exposed to medical and health-related information due to social norms or social status. What’s more, there are fewer avenues for educating Black people on issues relating to their health. Government agencies and community-based groups aren’t doing enough to ensure that African Americans understand the causes of limb amputations and the best preventive measures.
Black physicians and other players in the healthcare sector have now intensified the fight against lower limb amputation in Black communities. Dr. Bill Releford, Medical Director and CEO at the Releford Foot and Ankle Institute, also created The Black Barbershop, a medical outreach service. Through this program, more than 30,000 Black men have been screened for CVD and prostate cancer.
Creating more avenues for promoting health awareness among Black communities and assessing their effectiveness will have a positive impact on the battle against limb amputation.
Lack of Black Physicians in the Healthcare System
The health disparities in the American healthcare sector are also evident in the number of active Black physicians in the country. Only 5% of all active physicians in the U.S. identify as Black or African American – proof that Black and American communities are massively underserved. These numbers are even more perturbing considering that Black physicians have been found to achieve more favorable outcomes with Black patients.
Closing the education gap and encouraging medical careers among Black students is a significant intervention in reducing the lower limb amputation rates among Black and African American communities. With Black physicians, Black patients are more likely to be open to engagement, which is key to achieving preventive interventions.
Leveraging Technology for Amputation Prevention
The Wound Docs is a nationwide network of Black Physicians, podiatrists, vascular surgeons, and wound care specialists dedicated to lowering amputation rates among Black and African American communities. Through the power of AI and advanced biologics (skin substitutes), The Wound Docs is significantly contributing towards improving outcomes in wound care among Black and African American patients.
Exercise Routines for Health and Fitness: Moderate and High-intensity Workouts
There are different types of exercises; you get better results when you choose a combination of activities that cater to your needs. Research shows that you can gain tremendous benefits by doing a mix of four types of exercise: endurance activities, strength training.
Foam Dressings: Benefits And Applications
Non-adhesive foam dressings require the use of an additional secondary dressing to be secured in position. In general, thin foam dressings have an adhesive wound contact layer.
Hydrogel Wound Dressings: Benefits And Applications
Hydrogel wound dressings belong to the class of modern wound dressings that actively stimulate the wound healing process. They are composed of synthetic polymers with a high water content formed in the shape of sheets, amorphous gels, and foams.
Alginate Wound Dressings: Benefits And Applications
In the United States, approximately 6 million people are affected by chronic wounds. The number is only expected to increase with the rise in the elderly population. Wound dressings form an essential component of wound care.
How Obesity and Overweight Affects Wound Healing
Obesity and excessive weight are conditions that continue to disproportionately affect Black and African American people in the United States.
Understanding and Tackling Hypertension in African American Communities
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is more prevalent in African American communities than in other racial groups in the United States. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report indicated that about 5 in 10 non-Hispanic Black adults are hypertensive.
Understanding the Risk Factors for Pressure Ulcers
Pressure ulcers, also called bedsores or decubitus ulcers, are areas of localized damage to the skin and underlying tissue. They result from unrelieved pressure on the skin, friction, shear, or a combination of these.
The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Amputation Prevention
With the various technological advancements, amputation prevention through proper wound care is an attractive area for Artificial Intelligence (AI). In 2002, the whole world was in awe when Google brain, an Artificial Intelligence research team, could find a cat in a YouTube video.
The Role of Advanced Biologics (Skin Substitutes) in Wound Healing
For a long time now, limb amputation has affected the mobility of African Americans living with chronic diseases. Worse still, studies have shown that limb amputation among diabetes
Know Better, Do Better: Adopting Healthy Lifestyles for Amputation Prevention
Black Americans are twice as likely to develop pulmonary artery disease (PAD) – a leading cause of lower limb amputation – as any other race.
Tackling the Education Gap: Encouraging Medical Careers Among Black Students
Black and African American doctors make up 5% of all active physicians in the country – a mere 45,534 healthcare professionals. With the African American population at about 46.9 million, it is clear why Black communities are underserved.
The Amputation Epidemic in Black America: What Everyone Needs to Know
Peer-reviewed studies have revealed that black patients are three times more likely to lose limbs than the national average. In black populated areas with little or no access to quality healthcare...
Why Are Black People Losing Limbs More Often?
Now more than ever, Blacks and African Americans are losing lower extremity limbs. In recent years, there has been a stark difference in the amputation rates in Black and white communities.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and Its Impact On Wound Care
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is the narrowing of the arteries in the arms, legs, and internal organs. It’s often caused by atherosclerosis which is the buildup of fat and cholesterol – called plaque – in the arteries.
Promoting Physical Exercise and Mobility in African American Communities
Inadequate physical inactivity has increasingly been recognized as a leading cause of mobility problems and early mortality in the world.
A Spotlight on Healthcare Disparities in African American Communities
Even with promising interventions such as the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, healthcare equality in the U.S. seems like a distant goal. African Americans are still more likely to be burdened with chronic diseases
Avenues for Promoting Health Awareness in African Communities
Disparities in healthcare remain a serious problem in African American communities. The history of slavery and other social determinants like systemic racism and access to healthy foods undoubtedly underlie the inexcusably poor state of African American health.
The State of Black Health in America
Over 150 years from the abolishment of slavery, healthcare in America is stilled marred by systemic racial discrimination and inequality. According to the CDC, 20.2 percent of black American adults are living in fair or poor health. This is a visibly higher population compared to white, non-Hispanic (14.1 percent).
Black Nutrition: Are You Eating The Right Diet?
Blacks have dietary preferences born from cultural influence. A study conducted on 7,000 men and women over 45 years living across the U.S. found that Black participants were more likely to eat a diet comprising highly processed foods compared to their White counterparts. Further, 46% of Blacks and 33% of Whites developed hypertension, with diet being the reason for much of the disparity.
Debridement: A Critical Component of Wound Treatment
Debridement is a part of the standard DIME technique for wound bed preparation in chronic wounds.
What is Negative Pressure Wound Therapy and How Does it Benefit Patients?
Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) aims to facilitate wound healing by modifying the pressure over a wound surface.
The Benefits of Telemedicine To Wound Care
Telemedicine is particularly beneficial in long-term care facilities where a significant number of Americans living with chronic conditions such as non-healing wounds reside.
Why are Some Wounds Slow To Heal?
Chronic slow-healing wounds are those that fail to progress through a timely and predictable sequence of repair.
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Wound Therapy and How Does it Benefit Patients?
Chronic non-healing wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers and venous insufficiency ulcers remain in the inflammatory state despite adequate management, prolonging wound healing, and adversely affecting the quality of life of patients.
Diagnosis and Management of Pressure Ulcers
Leading research estimates a prevalence of up to 27% of pressure ulcers in patients living at long-term care facilities. Elderly patients (above 70 years of age), obese patients, patients with limited mobility, and those with underlying medical conditions e.g., peripheral arterial disease, and multiple sclerosis are the most at risk of developing pressure ulcers.
Compression Therapy for Wound Management
For patients living with chronic wounds such as venous ulcers, compression therapy can help to ease symptoms and aid wound healing.
Democratizing Wound Care in Hospice Care Facilities
Hospice care facilities provide care for the terminally ill, including patients battling late-stage cancer, heart disease, and kidney failure, as well as those living with chronic non-healing wounds.
Dealing With Diabetic Foot Ulcers During The Pandemic
People living with diabetes represent a subset of individuals with special health needs due to the nature of the disease.
What Clinicians Need To Know About Wound Care Dressings
To healthcare experts, choosing the right dressing is critical to improving wound healing outcomes in patients.