Fewer Amputations as Diabetes Management Improves

OTC Guide, June 2012, Volume 16, Issue 1

Improvements in blood sugar control, foot care, and diabetes management contributed to a decline in leg and foot amputations in patients with diabetes, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the January 2012 edition of Diabetes Care.

The rate of leg and foot amputations for adults 40 years and older declined by 65% between 1996 and 2008, from 11.2 per 1000 people in 1996 to 3.9 per 1000 people in 2008. The study results were adjusted for age, the CDC noted.

The study results also determined a higher rate of leg and foot amputations among men with diabetes than among women. In addition, it determined that blacks had higher rates of amputations than whites, with about 4.9 patients per 1000 requiring amputation compared with 2.9 patients per 1000.

Patients 75 years or older had the highest rate of amputation compared with other age groups, with 6.2 patients per 1000 requiring amputations.

Data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey on nontraumatic lower-limb amputations and from the National Health Interview Survey on the prevalence of diabetes were used in the report.

Pharmacists can help patients with diabetes manage their condition by stressing adherence to medication regimens, encouraging regular blood glucose monitoring, and providing education and support.

Pharmacists can stay current on the latest information in diabetes research and treatment with Diabetes Watch, which is available in Pharmacy Times and online at www.PharmacyTimes.com. For the top pharmacist-recommended products for patients with diabetes, including neuropathy products, foot care products, oral glucose products, and sugar-free sweeteners, visit the Diabetes Health Care section.