In Queensland: Diabetes related amputations on the decline

September 2, 2013, Queensland University of Technology
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

Genetic discovery may help better identify children at risk for type 1 diabetes

January 17, 2018
Six novel chromosomal regions identified by scientists leading a large, prospective study of children at risk for type 1 diabetes will enable the discovery of more genes that cause the disease and more targets for treating ...

Women who have gestational diabetes in pregnancy are at higher risk of future health issues

January 16, 2018
Women who have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy have a higher than usual risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease in the future, according to new research led by the ...

Diabetes gene found that causes low and high blood sugar levels in the same family

January 15, 2018
A study of families with rare blood sugar conditions has revealed a new gene thought to be critical in the regulation of insulin, the key hormone in diabetes.

Discovery could lead to new therapies for diabetics

January 12, 2018
New research by MDI Biological Laboratory scientist Sandra Rieger, Ph.D., and her team has demonstrated that an enzyme she had previously identified as playing a role in peripheral neuropathy induced by cancer chemotherapy ...

Enzyme shown to regulate inflammation and metabolism in fat tissue

January 11, 2018
The human body has two primary kinds of fat—white fat, which stores excess calories and is associated with obesity, and brown fat, which burns calories in order to produce heat and has garnered interest as a potential means ...

Big strides made in diabetes care

January 5, 2018
(HealthDay)—This past year was a busy, productive one for diabetes research and care.

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.