17 December 2018

Record 169 UK patients a week undergo diabetes-related amputations

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Analysis by Diabetes UK has shown there were 26,378 lower limb amputations related to diabetes in England from 2014 to 2017, representing an increase of 19.4 per cent from 2010-2013.

Dan Howarth, who is the head of care at Diabetes UK, said: “The shocking number of lower limb amputations related to diabetes grows year on year. An amputation, regardless of whether it’s defined as minor or major, is devastating and life-changing. A minor amputation can still involve losing a whole foot.”

Around 90% of diabetes patients in the UK have type 2 diabetes, which is linked to people’s lifestyles and obesity. UK Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines state that physical activity can reduce your chance of Type 2 diabetes by up to 40%, as well as reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, joint and back pain, depression and dementia.Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition unrelated to weight.

Diabetes UK urged NHS England to maintain beyond 2019 its £44m diabetes “transformation fund”, which aims to improve patients’ access to specialist foot care teams to help avoid amputations.

It said at least £1 in every £140 spent by the NHS went towards foot care for people with diabetes.

Howarth said: “Many diabetes amputations are avoidable, but the quality of foot care for people living with diabetes varies significantly across England. Transformation funding since 2017 is working and will help to reduce these variations, but much work still needs to be done.”

Find out our advice on how to outsmart type 2 diabetes with healthy habits, here.