Findings from patient research by Veterans Affairs clinics in the United States has revealed that people with diabetes had suffered a reduced amount of foot and leg amputations due to their condition.
The study, which reviewed all patients at its clinics who had diabetes over a four-year period, and also those who later underwent amputations paid for by Medicare, found that amputations among diabetics fell by as much as 36 per cent, once factors such as age and gender had been taken into account. The amount of amputations carried out on diabetics fell from around seven in 1,000 patients in 2000 to between four and five per 1,000 in 2004, with the greatest reduction being for those having amputations above the knee.
However, the reasons for this reduction in amputation rates are not so clear, but could be explained by the earlier detection of diabetes, greater access to aggressive medical therapies and lifestyle changes for its treatment.
The National Institutes of Health has also reported that 65,000 people with diabetes had a foot or leg amputation in 2006 in the US, although it is not obvious if the results from the Veteran Affairs study can be applied to the population in the US in general.

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