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In Bexar County, 1.5K People A Year Undergo Diabetes-Related Amputations

Jessica A DuVernay/U.S. Army

Peripheral artery disease is a lesser-known chronic circulatory condition with potentially fatal consequences if left unchecked.

Similar to coronary heart disease – when fatty buildup restricts blood to the heart – peripheral artery disease starts when blood flow is blocked to extremities like arms or legs.

Poor circulation causes cramping, pain, slow healing for wounds and color changes, and can lead to drastic measures including amputation.

Every year, an estimated 1,500 people lose a limb due to diabetes-related amputation, according to data from the San Antonio Express-News.

PAD is treatable, but the patient carries a higher likelihood of developing diabetes and at greater risk of stroke or heart attack.

One in 20 Americans over the age of 50 are affected by PAD, according to the National Institutes of Health.

What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease? How are patients screened and who is most at risk?

How can diabetes and circulatory conditions disproportionately affect people of Hispanic descent? What is being done in the community to combat PAD? ]

For more information on diabetes and cardiac support groups in the San Antonio area, call Katie Ivey at 210-297-3751.


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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.