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Diabetes limb amputations rise

29th December 2009

A study has shown a dramatic rise in the number of people in England having a limb amputated because of type 2 diabetes.

diabetes1

Researchers from Imperial College London found that between 1996 and 2005, amputations below ankle level doubled to more than 2,000 and major amputations increased by 43%, though they acknowledged that cases of type 2 diabetes had also risen significantly in that period.

More men than women had limbs amputated, however, overall amputations for patients with type 1 diabetes fell.

Study leader Dr Eszter Vamos said as the cases of diabetes rise, they expect to see long-term complications of diabetes increase.

But he added: “At the same time there is very strong evidence that with a multidisciplinary team approach you can prevent up to 80% of the amputations.

"It highlights the importance of frequent foot checks and that it is very important to get glycaemic control and blood pressure and cholesterol control."

The findings have been published in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.

More than 2.3m people in the UK have type 2 diabetes and the charity Diabetes UK says there are about 100 diabetes-related amputations each week in this country.

The charity’s care manager Sara Spiers said: “This rise could be for a number of reasons, including type-two diabetes not being diagnosed early enough, people not getting the education they need to manage their condition effectively, and swifter treatment of foot problems, meaning people are more likely to have an amputation than die because of foot ulcers.”

 

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