Amputation
Researchers are hunting for answers after finding Māori diabetics are at a 65 per cent greater risk of above-knee amputation than Pākehā.

The suffering is part of a wider diabetes epidemic that causes close to 1000 amputations a year in New Zealand - a loss of legs, feet and toes unknown in wealthy suburbs, but increasingly common elsewhere.

The greater burden on Māori cannot be explained by other risk factors for amputation such as deprivation and rural living. In the final of a three-part series, Nicholas Jones talks to experts about the problem and some possible solutions.

Māori are at much greater risk of losing a leg to diabetes even after factors such as deprivation are taken into account - and researchers suspect institutional racism.

A team led by Jason Gurney of the University of Otago used hospital records to track nearly 220,000 diabetics over four years. Māori were found to be at 65 per cent greater risk of above-knee amputation than Pākehā.

The result took into account other factors that could make amputation more likely, including deprivation, age, sex, rural living, prior amputation and co-morbidities (suffering other illnesses as well).

"Using the data we have, which

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