ArticlePDF Available

Disparities in lower extremity amputation among native americans with diabetic foot ulcerations

Review Article
Vascular Diseases and erapeutics
Vascul Dis er, 2020 doi: 10.15761/VDT.1000176 Volume 5: 1-5
ISSN: 2399-7400
Disparities in lower extremity amputation among Native
Americans with diabetic foot ulcerations
Lyndsay Kandi and Tze-Woei Tan*
University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona
*Correspondence to: Tan TW, FACS, Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery,
University of Arizona College of Medicine, 1501 North Campbell Ave, Room 4402,
Tucson, AZ 85724, Tel: 520-626-6598; Fax: 520-626-4008; E-mail: ttan@surgery.
Key words: native Americans, race, disparities, diabetic foot ulcers, lower extremity
Received: April 12, 2020; Accepted: April 24, 2020; Published: April 27, 2020
It is a well-documented declaration that the Native American (NA)/
American Indian (AI) population is disproportionately aected by
many chronic conditions. Among the chronic and oen fatal ailments,
diabetes mellitus (DM) is a prevailing diagnosis [1]. According to the
2017 American Diabetes Association, DM is responsible for signicant
deaths and is a substantial cost to society at $327 billion USD in the
United States (US) [2]. Complications of DM include peripheral
artery disease (PAD), a macrovascular complication, and peripheral
neuropathy (PN), a microvascular condition, which in turn cascade
into other adverse health outcomes [3,4]. Impaired vascular ow and
loss of sensitivity to the extremities, particularly to the feet, likewise
increases risk of diabetic foot ulceration (DFU) [3,4]. As a consequence
of an infected foot ulceration and subsequent osteomyelitis or gangrene,
patients may undergo lower extremity amputation (LEA) [4,5]. DFU
not only limits mobility and causes pain and discomfort, but foot
ulceration may even increase mortality rates and reduce life expectancy
[6,7]. e rate of recurrence for DFU within 1 year is roughly 40%,
about 60% within 3 years, and 65% within 5 years [8].
Lower extremity amputation is 10 to 20 times more common in
patients with PAD secondary to diabetes compared to non-diabetics,
with up to 75% of LEAs being performed in these patients [9]. e
opposite leg in up to 42% of diabetic patients is amputated within three
years [10]. In 2010, 73,000 amputations were performed in diabetic
patients, accounting for more than 50% of amputations in the US [4].
Mortality, quality of life, and physical function are signicantly worst
aer major amputations (ankle and above) [3,11]. Approximately half
of amputees will die within one year and as many as 70% of amputees
have a 5-year mortality rate [11]. In addition, the cost to US healthcare
payers due to DFUs and subsequent lower LEAs was estimated to be
$11 billion USD in 2001 [12].
Minority populations such as NA, African Americans (AAs), and
Hispanics are disproportionately aected by DM. According to the 2017
National Diabetes Statistics Report by the CDC, the NA population has
the highest rate of prevalence of diabetes at 15.1%, followed by AAs
with 12.7%, and Hispanics at 12.1%, while DM was prevalent in only
7.4% of non-Hispanic whites (whites) [13]. ese same subgroups also
experience more diabetes-related complications, such as PAD, DFUs,
and LEAs [14-16]. NAs, AAs, and Hispanics likewise have higher rates
of premature mortality as well as worse diabetes outcomes compared
to whites [17,18]. It is estimated that American Indians (AIs) have four
times higher mortality rate due to diabetes than that of the US general
population [18]. Additionally, the rate for LEAs among NAs was greater
than that of the general population [19]. e WHO Multinational
Study of Vascular Disease in Diabetes from 2001 likewise established
incidences of amputation secondary to DM of the NA population to
be 31.0 and 9.7 per 1,000 persons, respectively [20]. Furthermore, NAs
in the state of Arizona are at a higher risk of LEA [21]. Other minority
groups such as AA and Hispanic patients are more likely to undergo a
major LEA as opposed to limb salvage than whites [22].
e dierences in outcomes and therapeutic approaches to a
diabetic patient with a foot ulcer has been studied extensively in AAs
and whites, yet what factors contribute to disparities in diabetes-related
LEAs among the NA population remains unclear. With a projected
population of 10.2 million individuals by 2060, it is imperative to
understand and address inequalities of the NA population as it relates
to their health [23]. is review seeks to ascertain elements leading
to major LEAs among the NA population with DFUs. Among the
signicant factors leading to elevated risks of leg amputation that
are included in this discussion are predisposing genetics, lifestyle
behaviors, access to healthcare, socioeconomic status, patient attitude
towards Western medicine, and healthcare provider bias.
Current State of Evidence
e review focuses on the NA population, referring to indigenous
persons in the US of federally recognized tribal aliation and
including Alaskan Natives (AN). ere are 573 NA tribes that are
legally recognized by the Bureau of Indian aairs of the US as of July
2018, of which include 231 tribes located in Alaska [24]. While it may
seem unreasonable to place all 573 tribes under one group and make
generalizations, recent literature has indicated that all NA populations
in North and South America derive from a single population [25].
ough each tribe may have its own unique customs, traditions, or
even phenotypic features, NAs across all tribal aliations share a
common genotype [25].
Predisposing Genetics
e NA population is genetically predisposed to developing DM.
Via genome-wide association studies (GWAS), recent literature has
discovered more than 70 genomic regions in which single nucleotide
polymorphisms (SNPs) are correlated with Type 2 DM. Of these regions,
nine SNPs have been identied in AI and more specically, the DNER
Kandi L (2020) Disparities in lower extremity amputation among native americans with diabetic foot ulcerations
Vascul Dis er, 2020 doi: 10.15761/VDT.1000176 Volume 5: 2-5
locus conferred susceptibility for young-onset T2DM in Pima Indians
of Arizona [26,27]. Additionally, other SNPs have been associated with
higher 2-hour glucose concentrations, insulin resistance, lower acute
insulin secretion, higher BMI, and higher percent body fat [28-31].
Native Americans are also modestly predisposed to developing
PAD [32]. A recent study found a polymorphism of the gene encoding
methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) that is more prevalent
of NAs of Oji-Cree descent [32]. While this gene has been linked
to retinopathy, nephropathy, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery
disease, this study determined the MTHFR 677C>T polymorphism
also demonstrated a modest genetic inuence on the development of
PAD [32]. Another study found a common functional variant of the
cholesterol transporter, ABCA1, that is exclusive to people of Native
American populations, and is a major determinant of HDL-C levels as
well as a higher BMI [33].
Lifestyle Behaviors
Researchers have delved into what lifestyle factors may be
contributing to the development of DM and its consequences in the
NA population. Native Americans have a higher prevalence of tobacco
use, obesity and physical inactivity, binge-drinking, sugar-sweetened
beverage consumption, high blood pressure, and report of fair or
poor health status [1,34-36]. It has also been shown that compared
with whites, NAs reported a lower prevalence of having a personal
doctor or healthcare provider, fruit and vegetable consumption, cancer
screening, and seatbelt use [34]. ere is even data to suggest that
mental illnesses such as depression disproportionately aects the NA
population, which is also linked with worse glycemic control [37].
Socioeconomic Status
e NA population still faces a large socioeconomic gap as
compared to non-Hispanic whites. Data suggests that NAs report lower
levels of educational attainment with 80.2% of the population having
graduated high school and only 14.7% of the population obtaining
a bachelor’s degree [38]. e NA population also reports a lower
income level at $41,882 and an unemployment rate of 42.5% of able-
bodied persons, according to 2017 U.S. Census Bureau data [39]. e
highest poverty rate by race is found among the NA population [39].
Comparatively, more than one third of non-Hispanic whites obtained
a bachelor’s degree or higher, while the median household income for
this population was found to be $65,145 [38,39]. One study also noted
that AIs have a signicantly higher risk than non-Hispanic whites for
medical cost diculties [1].
Access to Healthcare
Indian Health Services (IHS) is an agency within the Department of
Health and Human Services that is responsible for providing healthcare
to the NA population [40]. It delivers medical care to approximately 2.6
million AIs in 37 states nationwide with 28 acute-care, 50-bed hospitals
in eight of those states [40,41]. e focus of IHS is to deliver primary
and obstetric care to tribes in the western United States, and thus, have
little to no resources for complex cases such as DFU and LEA [41]. In
2018, Congress set the IHS budget at $4.7 billion USD, a reduction of
$59 million USD below scal year 2017 [42]. Servicing 2.6 million AIs,
each person using IHS services is essentially allocated $1,807 USD [42].
Provider Bias
ere is evidence of both healthcare provider racism and
unconscious racial biases. Green, et al. found signicant pro-White
bias among internal medicine and emergency medicine residents,
while James SA supported this nding, indicating a “pro-white”
unconscious bias in physician’s attitudes towards, and interactions
with, patients [43,44]. In a survey assessing implicit and explicit
racial bias by Emergency Department (ED) providers in care of NA
children, it was discovered that many ED providers had an implicit
preference for white children compared to those who identied as NA
[45]. Indeed, racism and stigmatization are identied as being many
American Indians’ experiences in healthcare.
A study published in 2018 found that NA participants reported
more frequent episodes of poor treatment and lower levels of
treatment satisfaction with Western medicine [45]. Native American
persons were the most likely racial group to report discrimination in
health care, with discrimination being perceived by 7.1% of the AI
alone group, 8.8% of those identifying as both NA and white (add of
those), 5.6% of AAs, 4.3% of whites, and 2.6% of Asian Americans
[45]. Another study indicated NA parents were 25 times more likely to
perceive racial discrimination in the healthcare service for their child
than white parents [46]. Racist encounters experienced by NA persons
also leads to fear of utilizing conventional healthcare services [47]. Due
to this, many NA may even forego care altogether to avoid anticipated
racism [48]. Other bodies of literature support this claim, indicating
certain minority groups are more likely to have negative perceptions
of healthcare professionals and services [17]. For the NA population
especially, the injustices committed by Western health systems precipitates
mistrust, and such institutions are believed to contribute to poor health
[48]. Additionally, having strong cultural ties leads NAs to seek physicians
of their own ethnic background, but with only about 0.5% of all practicing
US physicians, this population remains grossly underserved [48].
Patient Attitude Towards Western Medicine
Western healthcare institutions also do not consider spiritual facets
of health, which may be perceived as a limitation of such medicine
because the biological healthcare model is not “holistic” [49]. us,
many NAs seek counsel and care from traditional healers, whose
treatment plans include plant-based medicines, rituals and ceremonies
in order to re-establish mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical
balance of the patient [50]. Yet many physicians express disagreement
with their patients using traditional Native medicines while under their
care because they are unsure of what Native medicine or traditional
Native healing entails, further widening the cultural divide between
NA patient and doctor [51]. In fact, research indicates that sickness
explanatory models that are discordant between healthcare providers
and patients may reduce communication ecacy, adherence to
treatment plan, and negatively impact health [52].
With regards to self-care behaviors in NAs with diabetes-such as
daily glucose monitoring, daily foot checks, smoking status, physical
activity, and daily fruit/vegetable consumption – a study using the
Behavioral Risk Surveillance System (BRSS) data reported that NAs
are more likely to engage in higher levels of diabetic self-care as
compared to AAs, Hispanics, and whites [53]. While this data is self-
reported, another source used objective data to establish lower rates of
HbA1c control and adherence to oral medication-compliance in the
NA population, but similar blood pressure and cholesterol outcomes
compared to whites [54].
With the NA population being genetically predisposed to
developing diabetes and peripheral artery disease, lifestyle factors
Kandi L (2020) Disparities in lower extremity amputation among native americans with diabetic foot ulcerations
Vascul Dis er, 2020 doi: 10.15761/VDT.1000176 Volume 5: 3-5
are of utmost importance in minimizing complications such as foot
ulceration and major amputation. Enforcing dietary restrictions such
as limiting carbohydrates and sugar, tobacco and alcohol use, as well
as increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity
should be encouraged. Perhaps working with a Nutritionist or Dietician
may facilitate healthier habits, and considerations to access to care
should be taken into account. As such, home healthcare and educator
visits, or online modules to increase health literacy and maximize well-
being may benet this population as it faces signicant transportation
ere is particularly a well-demonstrated link between tobacco use
and development of PAD, which is strongly linked to DFU and LEA
[55]. Several studies have indicated that the NA population is a robust
user of tobacco products [34,56]. Additional literature has found that
AIs/ANs with diabetes were found to smoke two to three times the
rate of those that are current non-diabetic smokers [36]. Furthermore,
NAs with diabetes that are current smokers were more likely to have
glycosylated hemoglobin A1c levels at 8.0% or higher [36]. Having poor
glycemic control likewise increases the complication rate, especially
with macrovascular injuries, and reduces favorable outcomes [17].
us, it is imperative to help NAs with smoking cessation to prevent
these adverse manifestations.
With many NAs living in low socioeconomic factors and having
poor access to health care, these patients are at a greater risk for diabetes-
related cardiovascular disease, including PAD. One study found a
relationship between eight-year incidence of LEA in NAs with diabetes
and risk by sex, educational attainment, renal function, and glycemic
control [21]. Additional research by the CDC supports this data, stating
prevalence of DM and its complications varied by educational and
socioeconomic status, with those having lower educational and income
levels at an increased risk [13]. It can be postulated that with many NAs
living in poverty and lacking health insurance, aording medication
such as insulin or metformin is simply unreasonable. is could in part
explain the poor HbA1c control and medication compliance.
According to Richardson, et al. who used data from the 2007 Health
Information National Trends Survey, people of lower educational
backgrounds were less likely to seek health information [57]. e
participants that reported lower income also indicated decreased
condence in their ability to obtain health information, and higher
levels of mistrust in Western healthcare professionals than whites and
those of higher income [57].With many NAs desiring care of culturally-
competent healthcare professionals, there is a need for more physicians
that identify as NA. Several medical schools are attempting to ll this
void. But in 2017, a mere 100 NA students applied and of those 100,
only 42 NAs were accepted into medical school [58].
More work needs to be done in reaching out to AI students
and encouraging them to consider a career as a physician. For so
many, medical school – and even a bachelor’s degree-seems like an
unattainable dream. With reservations rampant with substance and
alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and poverty, many NA youth do not
have the same opportunities nor support as those living o-reservations
[59,60]. Several studies have indicated that NA youth face higher levels
of substance use, alcohol abuse, and smoking as compared to their
non-Native counterparts [60,61]. Likewise, AIs face a substantially
higher rate of alcohol-attributable death than whites [61].
ere are programs that seek to inspire AI youth to pursue Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) elds. e National
Science Foundation awards grants to educational institutions that have
ongoing projects, and even recruits students from underrepresented
groups, including the NA population. Yet more programs should
target elementary school education to inspire interest and expose the
youth to careers in STEM, and even more work needs to be done to
attenuate drug and alcohol use in NA adolescents.
Despite existence of such facilities dedicated to NAs, access to
healthcare remains a disparity for many NAs. Indian Health Services
hospitals face an increase in the number of NAs using their services
yet oer a narrow scope of services and even more limited access
to specialists [41]. Due to funding constraints, referrals to outside
specialists are not always approved, and preventative care services
such as mammograms are oen denied46 [41]. As such, NAs oen
have diculty getting high-quality, timely healthcare. Because their
hospitals are older, acute-care facilities, IHS struggles to adequately
treat complicated inpatient cases, uses outdated equipment, and a
shortage of essential medications raises concerns about patient safety.
Certainly, Center for Medicare Services (CMS) found IHS hospital
sta to lack training and knowledge on emergency procedures and
attributed three patient deaths in 2014 to sta’s lack of prociency and
inability to identify problems [41].
Yet there are 13 states without IHS facilities, and those that do have
IHS institutions experience issues as described above [40]. Aside from
IHS facilities, the NA population is becoming increasingly more urban,
with 71% of the population living in urban areas, according to the
US Census38. But many NAs lack health insurance and cannot aord
medical care outside of IHS services, so many do without treatments
or seeing a healthcare provider [62]. Many AIs have not seen a medical
professional in over one year, citing costs [62]. ose NAs that do live
in rural areas or on reservations also face diculties with accessing
healthcare, particularly preventative and specialty care. Additionally,
almost half of the NA population live more than 60 miles from care,
thus it is a lengthy drive to access services. Tribal lands also feature
inadequate transportation infrastructure, making it dicult for NAs
living on the reservation to travel to hospitals, among other places.
e inferior road conditions oen delay emergency responders from
providing timely assistance and jeopardizes the health, safety, and
security of tribal members and those utilizing tribal roads.
Another attempt at encouraging health insurance coverage and
access for American Indians was put forth by the Aordable Care Act
(ACA), an expansion to Medicaid that was signed into law in 2010.
is insurance plan was geared toward low-income families to ensure
coverage and attainment of health services. In 2015, nearly 1.5 million
AIs were enrolled in Medicaid, and healthcare-facilities that serve
primarily Native populations received most of their reimbursements
from Medicaid [63]. With medications to manage diabetes covered
under ACA, this may also help control poor HbA1c and improve
compliance with treatment plan. While this may be a step in the right
direction, future studies would have to look at whether the ACA has
helped curb diabetic complications such as ulcerations and LEAs in the
NA population.
Healthcare providers’ biases may be inuencing medical decision-
making, shaping physician behavior, and produce a dierence in
medical treatment of patients of various ethnic backgrounds. A body
of literature has indicated that higher implicit bias was associated with
disparities in treatment recommendations, expectations of healing,
pain management, and empathy [64]. It may even contribute to the
disparities observed in major LEA. As demonstrated above, the NA
population is more likely to undergo primary LEA and less likely to
Kandi L (2020) Disparities in lower extremity amputation among native americans with diabetic foot ulcerations
Vascul Dis er, 2020 doi: 10.15761/VDT.1000176 Volume 5: 4-5
have limb salvage. is may be in part due to perceived non-compliance
with treatment plan.
Perceived discrimination may be aecting self-care practices in
NAs with DFUs or even prevent them from seeking treatment. Some
studies have indicated that NAs with diabetes remain below the
national average for adherence to self-management recommendation
in daily foot checks and diabetes self-care behaviors [4,6] From a
psychological standpoint, feelings of anxiety, fear, and dread at being
diagnosed with diabetes may even inuence care-seeking and self-care
behaviors [52]. Furthermore, NA elders perceived noncompliance with
medical recommendations as socially desirable [52]. us, perhaps a
more culturally-sensitive approach to medical care and education
such as diabetes self-care classes may help to increase compliance and
reduce complications.
Some medical experts have urged Western physicians to partner
with traditional healers in order to best serve the NA patient. is may
help reduce the anxiety and perceived discrimination and engage the
patient more in their own care. Of note, some centers oer traditional
food and even employ a traditional healer to accommodate its roughly
40% NA population78 [65]. Future studies should look at compliance
rates with cultural-appropriate treatment plan, and if it shows
promising results, apply these practices to other hospitals that serve the
NA populations.
In 1997, Congress established the Special Diabetes Program for
Indians in response to the diabetes endemic that was hitting the NA
population [66]. e $150 million USD grant allows for funding of 404
IHS, tribal, and urban health programs across the US to help prevent
and treat diabetes [66]. A lifestyle intervention is a part of the program,
enforcing such factors as healthy eating and physical activity [66]. To
date, roughly 4,500 participants have completed follow-up assessments
and demonstrated improvement in key diabetes risk factors [66]. e
Native Diabetes Well Program by the CDC aims to honor the balance
of cultural practices and western science in Indian Country to promote
health and help prevent type 2 diabetes among NAs who are at risk
[67]. It provides books for school-aged children about preventing DM
while respecting traditional ways, educational and reference materials,
and even a Traditional Foods Program that played a role in addressing
food insecurity in NA communities [67]. ese programs have also
intervened and oered insight to Tribal schools as they developed their
health and wellness policies. Longitudinal data will need to be collected
in order to determine ecacy of these programs, and whether or not
they are helping to curb incidence of DM in younger NAs.
e complications of diabetes, including foot ulcers and LEAs, are
severe and costly to society. Compared to other groups, NAs experience
a disparate rate of diabetes, DFUs, and LEAs. Factors leading to
disparities in diabetes-related amputations in this population include
personal, environmental, and healthcare level determinants. ere
is a pressing need to address the health disparities among the NA
population, which is at-risk and oen underserved.
TT was funded by National Institutes of Health/National Institute
of Diabetes and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) (K23DK122126).
Conicts of Interest
1. Denny CH, Taylor TL (1999) American Indian and Alaska Native health behavior:
ndings from the behavioral risk factor surveillance system. Ethn Dis 9: 403-409.
2. American Diabetes A (2018) Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes
Care 41: 917-928.
3. Barshes NR, Sigireddi M, Wrobel JS, Mahankali A, Robbins JM, et al. (2013) The
system of care for the diabetic foot: objectives, outcomes, and opportunities. Diabet
Foot Ankle.
4. Armstrong DG, Boulton AJM, Bus SA (2017) Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Their
Recurrence. N Engl J Med 376: 2367-2375.
5. Ndosi M, Wright-Hughes A, Brown S, Backhouse M, Lipsky BA, et al. (2018)
Prognosis of the infected diabetic foot ulcer: a 12-month prospective observational
study. Diabet Med 35: 78-88.
6. Moulik PK, Mtonga R, Gill GV (2003) Amputation and mortality in new-onset diabetic
foot ulcers stratied by etiology. Diabetes Care 26: 491-494.
7. Prompers L, Schaper N, Apelqvist J, Edmonds M, Jude E, et al. (2008) Prediction
of outcome in individuals with diabetic foot ulcers: focus on the differences between
individuals with and without peripheral arterial disease. The EURODIALE Study.
Diabetologia 51: 747-755.
8. Fu XL, Ding H, Miao WW, Mao CX, Zhan MQ, et al. (2019) Global recurrence rates in
diabetic foot ulcers: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetes Metab Res Rev.
9. Narres M, Kvitkina T, Claessen H, Droste S, Schuster B, et al. (2017) Incidence of
lower extremity amputations in the diabetic compared with the non-diabetic population:
A systematic review. PLoS One 12: e0182081.
10. Cook EA, Cook JJ, Labre MP, Givens H, Diresta JJ (2014) The amputation prevention
initiative. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 104: 1-10.
11. Jones WS, Patel MR, Dai D, Vemulapalli S, Subherwal S, et al. (2013) High mortality
risks after major lower extremity amputation in Medicare patients with peripheral
artery disease. Am Heart J 165: 809-815.
12. Gordois A, Scuffham P, Shearer A, Oglesby A, Tobian JA (2003) The health care costs
of diabetic peripheral neuropathy in the US. Diabetes Care 26: 1790-1795.
13. Prevention CfDCa (2017) National Diabetes Statistics Report. In: Atlanta GCfDCaP,
U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services.
14. Kim G, Ford KL, Chiriboga DA, Sorkin DH (2012) Racial and ethnic disparities in
healthcare use, delayed care, and management of diabetes mellitus in older adults in
California. J Am Geriatr Soc 60: 2319-2325.
15. Lee ET, Lu M, Bennett PH, Keen H (2001) Vascular disease in younger-onset
diabetes: comparison of European, Asian and American Indian cohorts of the WHO
Multinational Study of Vascular Disease in Diabetes. Diabetologia 44: 78-81.
16. Rizzo JA, Chen J, Laurich C, Santos A, Martinsen BJ, et al. (2018) Racial Disparities in
PAD-Related Amputation Rates among Native Americans and non-Hispanic Whites:
An HCUP Analysis. J Health Care Poor Underserved 29: 782-800.
17. Walker RJ, Strom Williams J, Egede LE (2016) Inuence of Race, Ethnicity and Social
Determinants of Health on Diabetes Outcomes. Am J Med Sci 351: 366-373.
18. O’Connell J, Yi R, Wilson C, Manson SM, Acton KJ (2010) Racial disparities in health
status: a comparison of the morbidity among American Indian and U.S. adults with
diabetes. Diabetes Care 33: 1463-1470.
19. Margolis DJ, Malay DS, Hoffstad OJ, Leonard CE, MaCurdy T, et al. (2011)
Prevalence of diabetes, diabetic foot ulcer, and lower extremity amputation among
Medicare beneciaries, 2006 to 2008: Data Points.
20. Chaturvedi N, Stevens LK, Fuller JH, Lee ET, Lu M (2001) Risk factors, ethnic
differences and mortality associated with lower-extremity gangrene and amputation in
diabetes. The WHO Multinational Study of Vascular Disease in Diabetes. Diabetologia
44: 65-71.
21. Resnick HE, Carter EA, Sosenko JM, Henly SJ, Fabsitz RR, et al. (2004) Incidence
of lower-extremity amputation in American Indians: the Strong Heart Study. Diabetes
Care 27: 1885-1891.
22. Durazzo TS, Frencher S, Gusberg R (2013) Inuence of race on the management of
lower extremity ischemia: revascularization vs amputation. JAMA Surg 148: 617-623.
23. United States Census Bureau (2017) Race/ethnicity and American Indian & Alaska
Native documentation.
Kandi L (2020) Disparities in lower extremity amputation among native americans with diabetic foot ulcerations
Vascul Dis er, 2020 doi: 10.15761/VDT.1000176 Volume 5: 5-5
24. Affairs BoI (2019) Indian Entities Recognized by and Eligible to Receive Services
from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, Affairs BoI, pp: 1200-1205.
25. Moreno-Mayar JV, Potter BA, Vinner L, Steinrucken M, Rasmussen S, et al. (2018)
Terminal Pleistocene Alaskan genome reveals rst founding population of Native
Americans. Nature 553: 203-207.
26. Hanson RL, Muller YL, Kobes S, Guo T, Bian L, et al. (2014) A genome-wide
association study in American Indians implicates DNER as a susceptibility locus for
type 2 diabetes. Diabetes 63: 369-376.
27. Hanson RL, Rong R, Kobes S, Muller YL, Weil EJ, et al. (2015) Role of Established
Type 2 Diabetes-Susceptibility Genetic Variants in a High Prevalence American Indian
Population. Diabetes 64: 2646-2657.
28. Nair AK, Muller YL, McLean NA, Abdussamad M, Piaggi P, et al. (2014) Variants
associated with type 2 diabetes identied by the transethnic meta-analysis study:
assessment in American Indians and evidence for a new signal in LPP. Diabetologia
57: 2334-2338.
29. Muller YL, Piaggi P, Hoffman D, Huang K, Gene B, et al. (2014) Common genetic
variation in the glucokinase gene (GCK) is associated with type 2 diabetes and rates of
carbohydrate oxidation and energy expenditure. Diabetologia 57: 1382-1390.
30. Muller YL, Thearle MS, Piaggi P, Hanson RL, Hoffman D, et al. (2014) Common
genetic variation in and near the melanocortin 4 receptor gene (MC4R) is associated
with body mass index in American Indian adults and children. Hum Genet 133: 1431-
31. Muller YL, Hanson RL, Wiessner G, Nieboer L, Kobes S, et al. (2015) Assessing
FOXO1A as a potential susceptibility locus for type 2 diabetes and obesity in American
Indians. Obesity 23: 1960-1965.
32. Pollex RL, Mamakeesick M, Zinman B, Harris SB, Hanley AJ, et al. (2005)
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphism 677C>T is associated with
peripheral arterial disease in type 2 diabetes. Cardiovasc Diabetol 4: 17.
33. Acuna-Alonzo V, Flores-Dorantes T, Kruit JK, Villarreal-Molina T, Arellano-Campos
O, et al. (2010) A functional ABCA1 gene variant is associated with low HDL-
cholesterol levels and shows evidence of positive selection in Native Americans. Hum
Mol Genet 19: 2877-2885.
34. Cobb N, Espey D, King J (2014) Health behaviors and risk factors among American
Indians and Alaska Natives, 2000-2010. Am J Public Health 104: 481-489.
35. Adakai M, Sandoval-Rosario M, Xu F, Aseret-Manygoats T, Allison M, et al. (2018)
Health Disparities Among American Indians/Alaska Natives - Arizona. Mmwr-Morbid
Mortal W 67: 1314-1318.
36. Morton DJ, Garrett M, Reid J, Wingard DL (2008) Current smoking and type 2 diabetes
among patients in selected Indian health service clinics, 1998-2003. Am J Public Health
98: 560-565.
37. Jacobs-Wingo JL, Espey DK, Groom AV, Phillips LE, Haverkamp DS, et al. (2016)
Causes and Disparities in Death Rates Among Urban American Indian and Alaska
Native Populations, 1999-2009. Am J Public Health 106: 906-914.
39. Fontenot K, Semega J, Kollar M (2018) U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population
Reports, Income and Poverty in the United Steates: 2017, U.S. Government Printing
Ofce, Washington, DC, In: Commerce USDo.
41. Levinson DR (2016) Indian Health Service Hospitals: Longstanding Challenges
Warrant Focused Attention to Support Quality Care. In: General DoHaHSOoI pp: 1-43.
42. Buchanan C. Indian Health Services Fiscal Year 2018 Congressional Justication. In:
Committees DoHaHSJoEfA.
43. Green AR, Carney DR, Pallin DJ, Ngo LH, Raymond KL, et al. (2007) Implicit bias
among physicians and its prediction of thrombolysis decisions for black and white
patients. J Gen Intern Med 22: 1231-1238.
44. James SA (2017) The strangest of all encounters: racial and ethnic discrimination in US
health care. Cad Saude Publica 33: 00104416.
45. Puumala SE, Burgess KM, Kharbanda AB, Zook HG, Castille DM, et al. (2016)
The Role of Bias by Emergency Department Providers in Care for American Indian
Children. Med Care 54: 562-569.
46. Johansson P, Jacobsen C, Buchwald D (2006) Perceived discrimination in health care
among American Indians/Alaska natives. Ethn Dis 16: 766-771.
47. Shepherd SM, Willis-Esqueda C, Paradies Y, Sivasubramaniam D, Sherwood J, et
al. (2018) Racial and cultural minority experiences and perceptions of health care
provision in a mid-western region. Int J Equity Health 17: 33.
48. Allan BSJ (2015) First Peoples, second class treatment: The role of racism in the health
and well-being of Indigenous peoples in Canada. the Wellesley Institute, Toronto, ON.
49. King M, Smith A, Gracey M (2009) Indigenous health part 2: the underlying causes of
the health gap. Lancet 374: 76-85.
50. Eggertson L (2015) Doctors should collaborate with traditional healers. CMAJ 187:
51. Zubek EM (1994) Traditional Native healing. Alternative or adjunct to modern
medicine? Can Fam Physician 40: 1923-1931.
52. Kleinman A, Eisenberg L, Good B (1978) Culture, illness, and care: clinical lessons
from anthropologic and cross-cultural research. Ann Intern Med 88: 251-258.
53. Johnson PJ, Ghildayal N, Rockwood T, Everson-Rose SA (2014) Differences in
diabetes self-care activities by race/ethnicity and insulin use. Diabetes Educ 40: 767-
54. Schmittdiel JA, Steiner JF, Adams AS, Dyer W, Beals J, et al. (2014) Diabetes care
and outcomes for American Indians and Alaska natives in commercial integrated
delivery systems: a SUrveillance, PREvention, and ManagEment of Diabetes Mellitus
(SUPREME-DM) Study. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care 2: e000043.
55. Hirsch AT, Haskal ZJ, Hertzer NR, Bakal CW, Creager MA, et al. (2006) ACC/AHA
Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease (lower
extremity, renal, mesenteric, and abdominal aortic): a collaborative report from the
American Associations for Vascular Surgery/Society for Vascular Surgery, Society
for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society for Vascular Medicine
and Biology, Society of Interventional Radiology, and the ACC/AHA Task Force on
Practice Guidelines (writing committee to develop guidelines for the management of
patients with peripheral arterial disease)--summary of recommendations. J Vasc Interv
Radiol 17: 1383-1397.
56. Agaku IT, Odani S, Okuyemi KS, Armour B (2019) Disparities in current cigarette
smoking among US adults, 2002-2016. Tob Control.
57. Richardson A, Allen JA, Xiao H, Vallone D (2012) Effects of race/ethnicity and
socioeconomic status on health information-seeking, condence, and trust. J Health
Care Poor Underserved 23: 1477-1493.
59. Beauvais F, Oetting ER, Wolf W, Edwards RW (1989) American Indian youth and
drugs, 1976-87: a continuing problem. Am J Public Health 79: 634-636.
60. Beauvais F (1992) Comparison of drug use rates for reservation Indian, non-reservation
Indian and Anglo youth. Am Indian Alsk Native Ment Health Res 5: 13-31.
61. Wallace JM Jr, Bachman JG, O’Malley PM, Johnston LD, Schulenberg JE, et al. (2002)
Tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use: racial and ethnic differences among U.S. high
school seniors, 1976-2000. Public Health Rep 117: 67-75.
62. Willging CE, Sommerfeld DH, Jaramillo ET, Lujan E, Bly RS, et al. (2018) “Improving
Native American elder access to and use of health care through effective health system
navigation”. BMC Health Serv Res 18: 464.
63. Bylander J (2017) Propping Up Indian Health Care Through Medicaid. Health Aff
(Millwood). 36: 1360-1364.
64. Maina IW, Belton TD, Ginzberg S, Singh A, Johnson TJ (2018) A decade of studying
implicit racial/ethnic bias in healthcare providers using the implicit association test. Soc
Sci Med 199: 219-229.
65. Hospital Works to Make Native American Patients Feel Comfortable. Hosp Case
Manag 25: 50.
66. Special Diabetes Program for Indians: Indian Helath Service.
67. Prevention CfDCa (2018) Native Diabetes Wellness Program April 24.
Copyright: ©2020 Kandi L. This is an open-access article distributed under the
terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted
use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author
and source are credited.
Full-text available
Compared with other racial/ethnic groups, American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) have a lower life expectancy, lower quality of life, and are disproportionately affected by many chronic conditions (1,2). Arizona has the third largest population of AI/AN in the United States (approximately 266,000 in 2017), and is home to 22 federally recognized American Indian tribal nations.* The small AI/AN sample size in previous Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys has presented analytic challenges in making statistical inferences about this population. To identify health disparities among AI/AN living in Arizona, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and CDC analyzed data from the 2017 BRFSS survey, for which AI/AN were oversampled. Compared with whites, AI/AN had significantly higher prevalences of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (33.0% versus 26.8%), being overweight or having obesity (76.7% versus 63.2%), diabetes (21.4% versus 8.0%), high blood pressure (32.9% versus 27.6%), report of fair or poor health status (28.7% versus 16.3%), and leisure-time physical inactivity during the past month (31.1% versus 23.0%). AI/AN also reported a lower prevalence of having a personal doctor or health care provider (63.1%) than did whites (72.8%). This report highlights the need to enhance surveillance measures at the local, state, and national levels and can inform interventions centered on confronting social inequities, developing culturally competent prevention strategies, and facilitating access to care to improve population health and work toward health equity.
Full-text available
Background: Public insurance reforms of the past two decades have failed to substantively address the healthcare needs of American Indians in general, let alone the particular needs of American Indian elders, ages 55 years and older. Historically, this population is more likely to be uninsured and to suffer from greater morbidities, poorer health outcomes and quality of life, and lower life expectancies compared to all other United States aging populations, representing a neglected group within the healthcare system. Despite the pervasive belief that the Indian Health Service will address all their health-related needs, American Indian elders are negatively affected by gaps in insurance and lack of access to health care. While the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act included provisions to ameliorate disparities for American Indians, its future is uncertain. In this context, American Indian elders with variable health literacy must navigate a complex and unstable healthcare system, regardless of where they seek care. Methods: This community-driven study features a mixed-method, participatory design to examine help-seeking behavior and healthcare experiences of American Indian elders in New Mexico, in order to develop and evaluate a tailored intervention to enhance knowledge of, access to, and use of insurance and available services to reduce healthcare disparities. This study includes qualitative and quantitative interviews combined with concept mapping and focus groups with American Indian elders and other key stakeholders. Discussion: The information gathered will generate new practical knowledge, grounded in actual perspectives of American Indian elders and other relevant stakeholders, to improve healthcare practices and policies for a population that has been largely excluded from national and state discussions of healthcare reform. Study data will inform development and evaluation of culturally tailored programming to enhance understanding and facilitate negotiation of the changing landscape of health care by American Indian elders. This work will fill a gap in research on public insurance initiatives, which do not typically focus on this population, and will offer a replicable model for enhancing the effects of such initiatives on other underserved groups affected by healthcare inequities. Trial registration: This protocol does not include the collection of health outcome data., NCT03550404 . Registered June 6, 2018.
Full-text available
Background: Disparities across a number of health indicators between the general population and particular racial and cultural minority groups including African Americans, Native Americans and Latino/a Americans have been well documented. Some evidence suggests that particular groups may receive poorer standards of care due to biased beliefs or attitudes held by health professionals. Less research has been conducted in specifically non-urban areas with smaller minority populations. Methods: This study explored the self-reported health care experiences for 117 racial and cultural minority Americans residing in a Mid-Western jurisdiction. Prior health care experiences (including perceived discrimination), attitudes towards cultural competence and satisfaction with health care interactions were ascertained and compared across for four sub-groups (African-American, Native American, Latino/a American, Asian American). A series of multiple regression models then explored relationships between a concert of independent variables (cultural strength, prior experiences of discrimination, education level) and health care service preferences and outcomes. Results: Overall, racial/cultural minority groups (African Americans, Native Americans, Latino/a Americans, and Asian Americans) reported general satisfaction with current healthcare providers, low levels of both health care provider racism and poor treatment, high levels of cultural strength and good access to health care services. Native American participants however, reported more frequent episodes of poor treatment compared to other groups. Incidentally, poor treatment predicted lower levels of treatment satisfaction and racist experiences predicted being afraid of attending conventional health care services. Cultural strength predicted a preference for consulting a health care professional from the same cultural background. Conclusions: This study provided a rare insight into minority health care expectations and experiences in a region with comparatively lower proportions of racial and cultural minorities. Additionally, the study explored the impact of cultural strength on health care interactions and outcomes. While the bulk of the sample reported satisfaction with treatment, the notable minority of participants reporting poor treatment is still of some concern. Cultural strength did not appear to impact health care behaviours although it predicted a desire for cultural matching. Implications for culturally competent health care provision are discussed within.
Full-text available
Aims: To determine clinical outcomes and explore prognostic factors related to ulcer healing in people with a clinically infected diabetic foot ulcer. Methods: This multicentre, prospective, observational study reviewed participants' data at 12 months after culture of a diabetic foot ulcer requiring antibiotic therapy. From participants' notes, we obtained information on the incidence of wound healing, ulcer recurrence, lower extremity amputation, lower extremity revascularization and death. We estimated the cumulative incidence of healing at 6 and 12 months, adjusted for lower extremity amputation and death using a competing risk analysis, and explored the relationship between baseline factors and healing incidence. Results: In the first year after culture of the index ulcer, 45/299 participants (15.1%) had died. The ulcer had healed in 136 participants (45.5%), but recurred in 13 (9.6%). An ipsilateral lower extremity amputation was recorded in 52 (17.4%) and revascularization surgery in 18 participants (6.0%). Participants with an ulcer present for ~2 months or more had a lower incidence of healing (hazard ratio 0.55, 95% CI 0.39 to 0.77), as did those with a PEDIS (perfusion, extent, depth, infection, sensation) perfusion grade of ≥2 (hazard ratio 0.37, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.55). Participants with a single ulcer on their index foot had a higher incidence of healing than those with multiple ulcers (hazard ratio 1.90, 95% CI 1.18 to 3.06). Conclusions: Clinical outcomes at 12 months for people with an infected diabetic foot ulcer are generally poor. Our data confirm the adverse prognostic effect of limb ischaemia, longer ulcer duration and the presence of multiple ulcers. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Full-text available
Lower extremity amputation (LEA) in patients with diabetes results in high mortality, reduced quality of life, and increased medical costs. Exact data on incidences of LEA in diabetic and non-diabetic patients are important for improvements in preventative diabetic foot care, avoidance of fatal outcomes, as well as a solid basis for health policy and the economy. However, published data are conflicting, underlining the necessity for the present systematic review of population-based studies on incidence, relative risks and changes of amputation rates over time. It was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Nineteen out of 1582 studies retrieved were included in the analysis. The incidence of LEA in the diabetic population ranged from 78 to 704 per 100,000 person-years and the relative risks between diabetic and non-diabetic patients varied between 7.4 and 41.3. Study designs, statistical methods, definitions of major and minor amputations, as well as the methods to identify patients with diabetes differed greatly, explaining in part these considerable differences. Some studies found a decrease in incidence of LEA as well as relative risks over time. This obvious lack of evidence should be overcome by new studies using a standardized design with comparable methods and definitions. Systematic review registration number PROSPERO CRD4201501780
Background To assess disparities in current (past 30 days) cigarette smoking among US adults aged ≥ 18 years during 2002–2016. Methods Nine indicators associated with social disadvantage were analysed from the 2002 to 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: education, annual family income, sex, race/ethnicity, urbanicity, serious psychological distress, health insurance, public assistance, and employment status. Using descriptive and multivariable analyses, we measured trends in smoking overall and within the assessed variables. We also evaluated effect of interactions on disparities and estimated the excess number of smokers attributable to disparities. Results During 2002–2016, current cigarette smoking prevalence declined overall (27.5%–20.7%; p trend < 0.01), and among all subgroups except Medicare insurees and American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). Overall inequalities in cigarette smoking grew even wider or remained unchanged for several indicators during the study period. In 2016, comparing groups with the least versus the most social advantage, the single largest disparity in current smoking prevalence was seen by race/ethnicity (prevalence ratio = 5.1, AI/ANs vs Asians). Education differences alone explained 38.0% of the observed racial/ethnic disparity in smoking prevalence. Interactions were also present; compared with the population-averaged prevalence among all AI/AN individuals (34.0%), prevalence was much higher among AI/ANs with <high school diploma (53.0%), unemployed (58.0%), or with serious psychological distress (66.9%). The burden of smoking attributable to race/ethnic disparities in smoking prevalence was an estimated 27.6 million smokers. Conclusions Overall smoking inequality increased or remained unchanged because of slower declines in smoking prevalence among disadvantaged groups. Targeted interventions among high-risk groups can narrow disparities.
Introduction: This study analyzed the impact of sociodemographic characteristics, patient comorbidities, risk factors for critical limb ischemia and hospital characteristics on racial disparities in amputation rates for Native American patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Methods: The study used the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Program inpatient discharge data from 2006-2013 for patients with a primary diagnosis of PAD. Multivariable models using the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition method were estimated to isolate the impact of individual covariates to identify determinants of amputation rates for Native Americans compared with non-Hispanic Whites. Results: Region of the country made a difference in this analysis with Native Americans residing in the West Census Region being twice as likely to undergo amputation as non-Hispanic Whites. Conclusions: After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, patient comorbidities, and hospital characteristics, Native Americans with PAD who reside in the West Census Region are substantially more likely to undergo amputation than are non-Hispanic Whites.
Medicaid expansion in Arizona has helped the Indian Health Service and tribally run health systems improve access.
Lower-extremity complications of diabetes such as foot ulcers constitute a substantial burden for people with diabetes. Once healed, foot ulcers frequently recur. This fact, coupled with demographic trends, requires a collective refocusing on prevention and a reallocation of resources from simply healing active ulcers to maximizing ulcer-free days for all patients with a history of diabetic foot ulceration. Aggressive therapy during active disease combined with a focus on improving care during remission can lead to more ulcer-free days, fewer inpatient and outpatient visits, and an improved quality of life.