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Closing the Gap: Addressing Racial Disparities in Diabetic Foot Care, by Dr. Windy Cole

Diabetic foot ulcers and infections have a higher rate of emergency room visits and hospitalizations then congestive heart failure, renal disease, depression, and most forms of cancer.1 Yet the negative consequences of developing a diabetic foot infection (DFI) is not homogenous throughout the diabetic population. A recent study evaluated the hospitalization outcomes of White, African American (AA) and non-AA minorities (Hispanics and Native Americans).2 The records of 150,701 patients admitted  for DFI, including 98,361 Whites, 24,583 AAs, 24,472 Hispanics, and 1,654 Native Americans (NAs) were examined.2 The study found that the risk for major amputation was significantly higher for African American, Hispanic and Native American patients with diabetic foot infections compared to their White counterparts.2 The study concluded that more should be done to mitigate racial and ethnic disparities to further promote equity in the treatment outcome in the at-risk diabetic patient population.

Gaps in health insurance coverage, restricted access to care, and decreased quality of medical services all are contributing factors to the rise in diabetic foot complications. The World Health Organization reports that the highest proportions of the global burden of disease and disability falls on regions that also suffer the most significantly from physician shortages.3Access to affordable treatments to support diabetic patient self-care is key. Lavior has partnered with national retail chains such as Walmart to increase patient access to effective over-the-counter diabetic foot preventative care solutions. By focusing attention on the development of a wide array of products to support patient self-care and promote wound healing, Lavior is helping to overcome health care disparities in this at-risk patient population.4

For more information, read our recent publication about Disrupting the Racial and Ethnic Disparity in Diabetes: New Treatments and Solutions, by Cole W, Davis IM, Bae SHS, Norwood C, and Hurwitz P (2024). Published in the Journal of Diabetes and Treatment, 9:10126. https://www.gavinpublishers.com/article/view/disrupting-the-racial-and-ethnic-disparity-in-diabetes-new-treatments-and-solutions

References:

  1. Armstrong DG, Boulton AJM, Bus SA. Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Their Recurrence. N Engl J Med. 2017 Jun 15;376(24):2367-2375. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra1615439. PMID: 28614678.
  2. Tan TW, Shih CD, Concha-Moore KC, et al. Disparities in outcomes of patients admitted with diabetic foot infections [published correction appears in PLoS One. 2019 Apr 11;14(4):e0215532]. PLoS One. 2019;14(2):e0211481. Published 2019 Feb
  3. https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/
  4. Cole, W., et al. “Disrupting the Racial and Ethnic Disparity in Diabetes: New Treatments and Solutions.” J Diabetes Treat9 (2024) https://www.gavinpublishers.com/article/view/disrupting-the-racial-and-ethnic-disparity-in-diabetes-new-treatments-and-solutions