Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

COVID-19 pandemic drives Minnesota racial health disparities


September 14, 2020

Shari Gross

Travis Smith received his first COVID-19 test administered by Hien Bui Hien Bui during a free testing event at New Salem Baptist Church in Minneapolis on Aug. 28.

Black Americans have about twice the risk as whites of developing a medical problem called peripheral artery disease, in which blood vessels in the legs become narrowed or blocked off. Severe untreated PAD can lead to amputation.

Yet white people are more likely than Blacks to get a medical procedure for a severe form of PAD called critical limb ischemia. In Hennepin County, white men get procedures to clear the leg-vessel blockages or place stents there five times more often than Black men. And Black women are 20 times less likely to get a revascularization, or unblocking of the vessels, according to public and proprietary data.

Such health care disparities have become more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a disproportionately negative impact on the health and financial well-being of people of color compared with white Americans.


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