The Impact of Race on Plantar Loading and Research Engagement
African Americans (AA) are twice as likely as White Americans (WA) to experience diabetes-related foot amputation due to foot ulcers. Foot ulcers are often caused by high plantar pressure, and several factors can impact plantar loading. Thus, there is a need to determine if race is a significant predictor of plantar loading. Additionally, with the current state of racial health disparities there is a need to determine racial differences in research engagement and mistrust between AA and WA. Data was collected from 107 participants, aged 18-30, in this Institutional Review Board approved study. An EMED pressure-measurement system (Novel Electronics, St. Paul, MN, USA) was used to collect plantar loading data. Additional measurements collected from each participant included arch height index (AHI), standing height, gait speed, and weight. Participants also completed two surveys focused on research engagement and research mistrust. A multiple linear regression was used to test if race and other factors significantly predicted plantar loading. Non-parametric tests were used to test if there were significant differences in research engagement and mistrust between AA and WA. The analysis determined that race was a significant predictor for plantar loading, along with age, AHI, gait speed, sex, and body mass index (BMI). Additionally, it was found that research engagement practices and feelings of research mistrust differed significantly between AA and WA young adults. These findings could improve our understanding as to why AA are more likely to have diabetic foot ulcers than WA, and why AA are less likely to participate in research than WA.