Background: As a result of the impact of health disparities on the healthcare system such as their influence on arenas significant to healthcare distribution, including cost, quality, and access, identification and resolution of health disparities is a primary national agenda item. Resolution of disparities in amputation is an area of opportunity that warrants further consideration.
Questions/purposes: The purposes of our review are to highlight current data on disparities in amputation in minorities and to consider future goals related to an elimination of this disparity.
Methods: Studies on disparities in amputation were accessed using the following databases: PubMed, Cinahl, OVID/Medline, Embase, and Cochrane databases. In each database, a search of title/abstract was performed for the search terms "disparities and amputation," "race and amputation," and "diabetes and amputation." Each search was limited by human and English language. Where are we now? A disparity exists in both frequency and level of amputation in minorities both in the presence and absence of a diagnosis of diabetes. Where do we need to go? A need exists for future research involving a more deliberate examination of the use of preventive screening for patients at high risk for amputation across medical settings. How do we get there? Research in this area would benefit from funding, large-scale data collection, and physician exposure to education on high-risk patients and preventive screening opportunities.