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

South Med J. 1999 Jun;92(6):593-9. doi: 10.1097/00007611-199906000-00008.


Background: 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.

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

Results: 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%).

Conclusions: 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Amputation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / ethnology*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / surgery
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / ethnology*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / surgery*
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Texas