Monday, June 14, 2010

Diabetes-related leg amputations could be prevented and need not be costly: IDF

Published: Apr 12, 2010 17:28

Of more than one million lower extremity amputations performed each year worldwide, 70 percent happen to people with diabetes. In India alone, almost 40,000 legs are amputated every year as a consequence of diabetes.

These figures were mentioned by Prof. Jean Claude Mbanya, president of International Diabetes Federation (IDF), in his message to the mid-term continuing medical education (CME) meeting on "high-risk diabetic foot" organized by the Association of Surgeons of India (ASI), UP Chapter and Indian Podiatry Association (IPA) in Kanpur last Sunday.

Mbanya's message, which was also handed out to the media, said the latest data from the IDF indicates that “diabetes affects 285 million people around the world, and is increasingly on the rise.”

“Of the many serious complications that can affect individuals with diabetes, it is the complications of the foot that take the greatest toll," Mbanya said.

On a positive note, he said, amputations could be prevented and need not be expensive.

"Many of these amputations can be prevented. Better education and improved management of foot care can be performed at relatively low costs and have been shown to reduce the number of lower extremity amputations by 50-85%," he said.

And this can be done through a concerted effort involving members of the global diabetes community to increase awareness in levels of health care services worldwide, Mbanya said.

"It is time to reduce the unnecessary suffering that foot complications can bring. With relatively low investment, it is possible to advance education and prevention that will result in lower rates of amputation, and better quality of life for people with diabetes. The time to act is now!" he said.

Mbanya is a professor of medicine and endocrinology at the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon. He is also the director of the National Obesity Centre University of Yaounde, Cameroon, and chief of the Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Unit of Hospital Central in Yaoundé

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