Scand J Surg 2006; 95: 185-9

Major amputation incidence decreases both in non-diabetic and in diabetic patients in Helsinki.

Eskelinen E, Eskelinen A, Albäck A, Lepäntalo M.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The aim of the study was to assess the changes in diabetes-related lower extremity amputations and to compare it with the development of amputations for critical leg ischaemia in patients without diabetes.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Clinical records of 1094 patients undergoing major lower limb amputations for vascular disease in the town of Helsinki during 13 years from 1990 to 2002 were analyzed retrospectively. Data concerning patient factors, diagnosis, existence of diabetes and amputation level were recorded. The study period was divided into three parts (1990-1994, 1995-1998 and 1999-2002) and results were compared between diabetic and nondiabetic vascular amputees during these time periods.

RESULTS: From 1990 through 2002, 561 of patients undergoing major lower limb amputation had diabetes mellitus. The overall incidence of major amputations of diabetics reduced from the first time period to the last period by 23%. At the same time, the incidence of amputations in non-diabetic patient group decreased 40%. If the incidence rate for amputations is expressed per million individuals with diabetes, 33% decrease was observed during the study period.

CONCLUSIONS: The decrease in major amputation rates among diabetic as well as non-diabetic patients can be attributed to the increased interest in amputation prevention, with a contribution by vascular surgeons being made in both groups.

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