(RxWiki News) If you have diabetes, your feet may not be getting the blood they need. The good news is that the number of diabetes-related amputations is decreasing, according to new research.
Looking at a population of diabetic veterans, researchers found that the rates of lower extremity (foot or leg) amputations dropped by 34 percent between 2000 and 2004. This finding could mean that doctors are getting better at identifying patients at risk of amputation.
If doctors can identify the risks, they can provide the correct amount of care so that diabetic patients do not have to lose a foot or leg.
"The rate of diabetes-related amputations is dropping."
In order to study trends in diabetes-related amputations, researchers looked at the amount diabetic veterans who had a lower extremity amputated between 2000 and 2004. In 2000, about 7 out of 1,000 diabetic veterans had an amputation.
In 2004, between between 4 and 5 diabetic veterans had an amputation.
At the end of the 5-year study period, below-knee amputation rates had decreased from 1.08 to 0.87 for every 1,000 veterans with diabetes. Above knee amputations decreased from 1.41 to 0.72 for every 1,000 diabetic veterans.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, there were about 65,700 diabetes-related amputations in 2006.