January 25, 2012

Diabetes Amputations Dramatically Lower


The lower-limb amputation rate has dropped more than 50% since 1996. The study is published in the current online issue of Diabetes Care. The statistics were gathered on individuals who were hospitalized and above the age of 40.

The study evaluated the rate of nontraumatic lower-extremity amputation (NLEA) in the U.S between 1988 and 2008. Nontraumatic lower–limb amputations refer to those caused by circulatory problems that are a common complication among people with diabetes rather than amputations caused by injuries.  

Complications from diabetes that manifest after 10 years of the disease include poor circulation and nerve damage in the lower limbs, resulting in numbness and slow healing of sores and infections.

“The significant drop in rates of nontraumatic lower–limb amputations among U.S. adults with diagnosed diabetes is certainly encouraging, but more work is needed to reduce the disparities among certain populations,” said the co–author of the study.

The certain populations mentioned are: individuals above the age of 75 were higher than among those who were younger, higher among men than women, and higher among blacks than whites.

The improvement of nontraumatic lower-extremity amputations is substantially higher in the diabetic population verses the nondiabetic population. People who know they have diabetes and closely monitor their condition may be a good reason why the NLEA rate has decreased.  Diabetes is the toot of the problem.

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