Decline in Rate of Diabetic Lower-Extremity Amputation

But rate of amputation still higher for patients with diabetes than for those without the disease

THURSDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- From 1996 to 2008 there was a decline in the rates of hospitalization for nontraumatic lower-extremity amputation (NLEA) in the U.S. population with diabetes, according to a study published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

Yanfeng Li, M.D., M.P.H., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues used National Hospital Discharge Survey data on NLEA procedures and National Health Interview Survey data on diabetes prevalence to investigate trends in the rates of hospitalization for NLEA in populations with and without diabetes in the United States from 1988 to 2008.

The investigators found that the age-adjusted NLEA discharge rate per 1,000 persons decreased from 11.2 in 1996 to 3.9 in 2008 for individuals diagnosed with diabetes and aged ≥40 years, whereas there was little change in the rate for those without diabetes. In all demographic groups examined, the rate of NLEA for individuals with diabetes decreased significantly from 1996 to 2008. The rates of diabetes-related NLEA were higher for those aged ≥75 years than younger participants, for men than women, and for blacks than whites.

"The NLEA rate in the U.S. diabetic population aged ≥40 years is declining both overall and in all demographic groups we examined. However, disparities in NLEA rates persist, and people with diabetes remain at great risk for NLEA," the authors write.

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