A significant reduction in diabetes-related amputations has been seen since the mid-1990s, researchers have found. Researchers say that there has been significant improvement in diabetes care over this period.
Amputations of the lower limbs are one of the most disabling complications of diabetes.
Also, serious problems with the feet are a frequent reason for hospitalization among individuals who have diabetes.
‘Major reductions in diabetes-related amputations of various types has been found by a study that examined amputation rates in the Funen region of Denmark during the period 1996-2011.’
Researchers at the Odense University Hospital in Denmark examined amputation rates in the Funen region of Denmark during the period 1996-2011. The study showed major reductions in diabetes-related amputations of various types.
The researchers found an annual reduction in below-ankle amputation (BAA) rates among diabetes patients of 10% and the annual reduction in below-knee amputation (BKA) rates for patients with diabetes was 15%. For above-knee amputations (AKA), the annual rate of reduction for those with diabetes was around 3% but not statistically significant.
Amputation rates unrelated to diabetes (from other conditions) remained unchanged over this period.
A total of 2,832 amputations were performed during the period 1996-2011. Of which 1,285 were among patients with diabetes and 1,547 among individuals without diabetes. Diabetes patients had an 11-times increased rate of BAA relative to persons without diabetes.
"Our study suggests that the reduction in amputation rates among diabetes patients most likely is due to improvement in the care of individuals with diabetes," the researchers said.
The study was published in the journal Diabetologia.