Southern Association for Vascular Surgery
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Impact Of Regional Differences And Neighborhood Socioeconomic Deprivation In The Outcomes Of Patients With Lower Extremity Wounds Evaluated By A Limb-Preservation Service
Gloria Sanin, Caroline Minnick, Ashlee Stutsrim, Timothy Williams, Gabriela Velazquez, Cody Blazek, Matthew Edwards, Matthew Goldman
Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston Salem, NC

INTRODUCTION: Management of lower extremity (LE) wounds has evolved considerably with the establishment of specialized limb preservation services. While clinical factors are known contributors to limb outcomes, racial disparities and gender also influence the risk for limb loss. The Distressed Community Index (DCI) is a validated index of social deprivation created to provide an objective measure of economic well-being in U.S communities. Few studies have examined the potential influence of geographic deprivation on outcomes in patients with LE wounds. We examined relationships between socioeconomic deprivation based on patient residential ZIP code and outcomes of hospitalized patients evaluated by a dedicated limb preservation service (FLEX). METHODS: Patients referred to FLEX over a 5 year period were included. Wound characteristics including Wound, Ischemia, foot infection (WIfI) stage were collected. DCI scores were determined using indices of education, housing vacancy , unemployment , poverty , household income, employment level, and commerce. Outcomes included any minor or major amputations, any endovascular or open LE revascularization, or any wound care procedures. Disease etiology, demographic, and anthropometric data were collected. Associations between neighborhood deprivation and limb-specific outcomes were evaluated in models for the DCI and each of its components separately. RESULTS: 677 patients were included. Thirty-eight percent were female, with a mean age of 65 years. Thirty-five percent were non-white. Sixty percent had WIfI stage 3 or 4 risk of amputation and 43% had WIfI stage 3 or 4 risk of revascularization. Mean (SD) ABI and toe pressure were 0.96 (0.43) and 80 (57) mmhg, respectively. Amputation was performed in 31% of patients while 17% had revascularization. The mean (SD) distress score was 64 (24). The mean (SD) values for the DCI distress score components were: % without HS degree 15 (5); % poverty rate 17 (7); % adults not employed 24 (6); % housing vacancy rate 11 (4), median income ratio 90 (24); % change in employment 6 (16); % change in business establishments 3 (8). Mean DCI distress scores did not differ across WIfI risk of amputation, revascularization, or wound scores. Likewise, overall DCI distress score was not related to any of the outcomes in univariable or multivariable LR models. In univariable LR models for amputation, higher poverty rate (odds ratio (OR) for SD increase 1.20, 95% confidence limits (CL) 1.02-1.42, P=0.025) was significantly associated with the outcome. In multivariable models, non-white race was strongly associated with amputation (OR 1.86, 9% CL 1.30-2.65, P=0.0007); however, neither DCI distress score nor any of its components remained significantly associated with the outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Despite known racial disparities in limb-specific outcomes, an aggregate measure of community level distress was not found to be related to outcomes. While poverty rate demonstrated a significant relationship with amputation in univariable analysis, this association was not found in multivariable models. Notably, non-white race emerged as a predictor of amputation, underscoring the importance of addressing racial disparities in LE outcomes. Further investigation of potential determinants of LE outcomes is needed, particularly the interaction of such factors with race.
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