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Limb Amputations of Diabetes Patients Decreased

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The number of leg and foot amputations among U.S. diabetes patients age 40 and above decreased by 65 percent from 1998 to 2008, according to an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in Diabetes Care, reported Medical News Today.

In 1996, leg and foot amputations were performed on 11.2 per 1,000 individuals with diabetes. Come 2008 this rate dropped to 3.9 per 1,000.

Lower-limb amputations due to diabetes complications result from circulatory problems.

The study also revealed women had lower age-adjusted rates of lower-limb amputations than men, those 75 and older had the highest rate at 6.2 per 1,000 people and rates were higher among blacks at 4.9 per 1,000 than whites at 2.9 per 1,000.

CDC researches said lower-limb amputations may have decreased with diabetes due to declines in heart disease, improvements in blood sugar control and the basic self-care and diabetes management.

"The significant drop in rates of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations among U.S. adults with diagnosed diabetes is certainly encouraging, but more work is needed to reduce the disparities among certain populations," said Nilka Ríos Burrows, an epidemiologist with CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation. "We must continue to increase awareness of the devastating health complications of diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of lower-limb amputations in the United States."