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Diabetes-related amputations reach record high

Monday 27th July 2015
New figures have revealed that more amputations are happening than ever before because of diabetes. Image Credit: MorePixels
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The number of people having to have amputations because of diabetes has risen to record-high levels, new figures have revealed.

New analysis from Diabetes UK has shown that 135 diabetes-related amputations happen each week, with more than 7,000 occurring each year. Taken from Public Health England data, the figures show a significant rise from previously when there were 6,677 amputations recorded.

The findings highlight the importance of good foot care and the essential role that podiatrists can play in preventing the problem. According to the statistics, around 80 per cent of these amputations could have been avoided.

However, despite a big focus being on prevention, the rates for both major and minor amputations in people with diabetes have remained the same. There has also been a sharp increase in the number of people being diagnosed with the condition, which has caused a steady rise in the amount of diabetes-related amputations occurring.

Diabetes UK is now calling on both the NHS and government to do more to address the problem by improving footcare. This should include everyone with diabetes getting foot checkups on an annual basis, and that anyone with a foot problem should get the right care to prevent it getting worse or to treat it.

The charity said it is particularly important that if anyone with diabetes has a foot infection they get urgent attention from a team of specialists. 

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “The fact that the total number of amputations is continuing to rise is a huge concern because we know the devastating impact they have on people’s lives. As well as the psychological impact, they also cost lives as most people die within five years of having one."

She added that there has been real efforts to improve the poor state of diabetes footcare, but the figures show that there is still much to do.

Written by Angela Newbury

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