Lack of access to vascular specialists creates major disparities in amputation rates across the USA

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Speaking on current trends in amputation rates with critical limb-threatening ischaemia (CLTI) patients, Misty Humphries (Sacramento, USA) tells Vascular News that while Medicare data shows that amputation rates are decreasing across the USA overall, there are “certain geographical areas” that have high rates, with many of these “located in the south” or in regions that “may not have vascular specialists”.

“The disparities that we see in my research I believe are truly access-based,” says Humphries, further drilling down to emphasise health insurance, time and other factors such as appropriate preventive care measures that come into play contributing to the increased risk of amputation seen amongst some communities.

Humphries goes on to discuss some of the main factors associated with patients having an amputation and how this is related to “social determinants of health”. She talks about the “fragmented” nature of the US health system, which she says means that a lot of patients “fall through the cracks”.


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