In Queensland: Diabetes related amputations on the decline

September 2, 2013
PhD researcher Peter Lazzarini has found that co-ordinated foot care teams, protocols and focused research is reducing diabetic-related lower limb amputations in Queensland.

Fewer foot and leg amputations are being performed on people with diabetes in Queensland despite a rise in the national rate of diabetes amputations, new analysis has found.

The Australian Diabetes Society / Australian Diabetes Educators Annual Scientific Meeting has been told that a recent 18-22% reduction in related foot and amputation rates in Queensland appears to be due to a coordinated roll-out of clinical programs in more than 50 hospitals and community health sites across the state.

Australia has one of the highest rates of lower limb amputations in the developed world with around 85 having a foot or part of their leg removed each week.

Foot disease affects more Australians than any other major diabetes complication, with the exception of cardiovascular disease.

International studies have shown that diabetes foot-related hospitalisations, amputations and related costs can be reduced by 50-85% when best practice strategies are implemented.

Peter Lazzarini, Senior Research Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology and Metro North Hospital and Health Service, who was an author of the study, explained that co-ordinated hospital and community-based foot care teams, protocols and research focused on diabetic foot health such as those in Queensland hold the key to reducing foot hospitalisation and among all Australians with diabetes.

"While the results in Queensland are very encouraging, further nationally co-ordinated efforts are required to decrease diabetes related amputations to the low levels experienced in other countries," he said.

"Feet are often the forgotten complication of diabetes. Unlike , eye disease and cardiovascular disease, there are few national networks and protocols funded to oversee the foot health management of people with diabetes.

"Best practice strategies that focus on making sure doctors, nurses and podiatrists work together as multi-disciplinary foot teams and use the best treatment tools available significantly reduces diabetes foot-related hospitalisation, amputations and costs," said Peter Lazzarini.

"It's a simple proposition - ignore the feet and diabetes will continue to be the leading cause of lower limb amputation and a leading cause of avoidable hospitalisation. By focusing on the feet of people with diabetes literally thousands of and hospitalisations can be prevented."

The majority of lower are performed on people who have had poorly controlled diabetes for more than 10 years which has led to nerve damage, poor circulation, foot ulcers and/or infection.

Peter Lazzarini explained that "the key to avoiding amputation in the first instance is blood sugar control. In addition, people should have an annual diabetes foot check-up to assess damage to the nerves and identify whether vascular disease has developed."

"For those who have developed nerve damage or vascular disease it is important that they see their doctor and podiatrist at least every few months and check their feet daily for signs of foot ulcers or infection. For those who develop a foot ulcer it is vitally important that they are managed by a multi-disciplinary foot team," he concluded.

Explore further: Fewer Americans undergoing lower limb amputation

Related Stories

Fewer Americans undergoing lower limb amputation

July 10, 2013
There have been dramatic decreases in the number and severity of lower limb amputations over the past decade, according to a new study published in the July 2013 issue of Foot & Ankle International. At the same time, orthopaedic ...

Diabetes-linked amputations declining, study finds

July 19, 2013
(HealthDay)—Fewer foot and leg amputations are being performed on people with diabetes, even as rates of the disease are rising in the United States, a new study finds.

Amputations among people with diabetes can be reduced by 50%, study finds

January 17, 2013
Every 30 seconds somebody in the world is amputated as a consequence of foot complication due to diabetes. A new study at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, confirmes that shoe inserts, podiatry, regular ...

Specialists must work together to prevent leg amputations, urge experts

April 17, 2012
A lack of cooperation between doctors is allowing the number of leg amputations to remain high, despite major advances in treatment, warn experts from Imperial College London at an international symposium at the College today. ...

CDC: Diabetes amputations falling dramatically

January 24, 2012
Foot and leg amputations were once a fairly common fate for diabetics, but new government research shows a dramatic decline in limbs lost to the disease, probably due to better treatments.

Recommended for you

Scientists discover a new way to treat type 2 diabetes

July 21, 2017
Medication currently being used to treat obesity is also proving to have significant health benefits for patients with type 2 diabetes. A new study published today in Molecular Metabolism explains how this therapeutic benefit ...

Alzheimer's drug cuts hallmark inflammation related to metabolic syndrome by 25 percent

July 20, 2017
An existing Alzheimer's medication slashes inflammation and insulin resistance in patients with metabolic syndrome, a potential therapeutic intervention for a highly dangerous condition affecting 30 percent of adults in the ...

Diabetes or its precursor affects 100 million Americans

July 19, 2017
Almost one-third of the US population—100 million people—either has diabetes or its precursor condition, known as pre-diabetes, said a government report Tuesday.

One virus may protect against type 1 diabetes, others may increase risk

July 11, 2017
Doctors can't predict who will develop type 1 diabetes, a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system destroys the cells needed to control blood-sugar levels, requiring daily insulin injections and continual monitoring.

Diabetes complications are a risk factor for repeat hospitalizations, study shows

July 7, 2017
For patients with diabetes, one reason for hospitalization and unplanned hospital readmission is severe dysglycemia (uncontrolled hyperglycemia - high blood sugar, or hypoglycemia - low blood sugar), says new research published ...

Researchers identify promising target to protect bone in patients with diabetes

July 7, 2017
Utilizing metabolomics research techniques, NYU Dentistry researchers investigated the underlying biochemical activity and signaling within the bone marrow of hyperglycemic mice with hopes of reducing fracture risks of diabetics

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.