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Study Finds Limb Amputation Rates for Blocked Arteries Vary by Race, Setting

Reuters Health reports patients with severe blockages in leg arteries can sometimes be treated with surgery to reroute blood flow; otherwise they require amputation – which black patients are more likely than whites to get, according to a study of New York State data. The racial disparities were greatest at hospitals with high volumes of surgery and among the patients of surgeons who did high volumes of vascular surgery or who had fewer black patients, researchers report in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.  The researchers analyzed data for 1999 to 2014 from a statewide New York database looking at more than 215,000 cases of treatment for critical limb ischemia – when blood flow is severely or completely blocked, usually to a leg. The condition is often caused by hardening and narrowing of the arteries brought on by heart disease, diabetes, smoking and other health conditions.

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