Why Are Black Americans at Higher Risk of Amputation for Peripheral Artery Disease vs. Non-Minorities?

At The Cardiac & Vascular Interventional Group, we treat African American/Black patients who are with respect, equity, and commitment they deserve to stay healthy. Our staff is very diverse and well-versed in helping those with heart disease, including peripheral artery disease (PAD). Although limb amputation is the final and last resort before exhausting other treatment avenues, many Black patients are subjected to it prematurely.

Our doctors at CVIG offer valuable education to all patients, regardless of their race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or background. This includes how they should be careful of their heart health, especially if they smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

PAD in the Black American & BIPOC Populations

All ethnicities can acquire PAD. It is a disease that caused clogged, constricted arteries to limit the blood supply and flow to lower limbs/legs. Many diabetes patients develop PAD, especially if their condition is uncontrolled. It happens because, without sufficient insulin, plaque in the arteries builds up quickly. This impedes blood flow to the patient’s eyes, ankles, and toes. Blindness and tissue necrosis/death can be the end result because unfortunately, many don’t recognize that their dulled sensation is a pain in their blood-starved legs. The destruction of your nerves can lead to a stroke, heart attack, or, more specifically, if it affects only the legs: a condition called gangrene. The only treatment for gangrene is amputation

Interventional peripheral services offered at our clinic are outpatient procedures used to treat PAD to restore leg blood flow. When successful in the earlier stages of PAD, it can eliminate pain, numbness, or the need for eventual leg/lower extremity amputation. To open the blood vessels, angioplasty or stents may be involved to dilate the blocked arteries to the legs. If all these treatments prove unsuccessful, your doctor may then explore how amputation can restore your health. However, amputation prevention is very important to our staff at CVIG, and we can often save the limbs of our patients.

Why Is There an Epidemic of Amputation Among Black PAD Patients?

According to one major study that mapped out rates of amputation among poorer Californians with PAD, findings showed the that lowest socioeconomic population had amputation rates that were tenfold higher than the wealthiest neighborhoods. This is an unacceptable, irrefutable reality that can be proven scientifically and not just anecdotally. The disparity among healthcare doled out to the poor is in stark contrast to more affluent patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases. There is a correlation between patients below the poverty line and their adverse health outcomes. However, few studies have assessed the geographic patterns that link household incomes to chronic diseases' preventable complications.

Black and BIPOC patients are at higher risk of amputation because the predominantly lower-income populations receive lower equity in healthcare. This has been the case since the days before, during, and after slavery, segregation, the modern prison system that incarcerates Black Americans at an astonishingly higher rate than their white counterparts, and other unfortunate realities Black Americans face.

Our Doctors Are Proudly Committed Our Patients

At CVIG cardiology practice, our medical team is here to discuss Black American and Minority health, especially as it relates to PAD, Coronary Artery, and Structural Heart Diseases. Our cardiology practice is led by the internationally recognized Interventional Cardiologist, Dr. G. Mark Jenkins, M.D. He works alongside other medical professionals like Dr. Luis Bowen, a prominent structural heart specialist, and our highly skilled Lead Nurse Practitioner GeTonya Dickerson.

Ready to learn more? Contact us at (469) 437-3560 to speak to a member of our support staff and make your initial appointment with our Dallas cardiologists.

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221 W. Colorado Blvd Pavilion II, Suite 933 Dallas, TX 75208