Some rather disturbing news from Spain that echoes previous reports earlier this year from the UK. Published in this week's Diabetes Care:
Trends in Lower-Extremity Amputations in People With and Without Diabetes in Spain, 2001-2008.
Preventive Medicine and Public Health Teaching and Research Unit, Health Sciences Faculty, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain.
OBJECTIVE To examine trends in nontraumatic lower-extremity amputations (LEAs) over an 8-year period in patients with and without diabetes in Spain. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We identified all patients who underwent an LEA using national hospital discharge data. Discharges were grouped by diabetes status: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and no diabetes. The incidence of discharges attributed to amputations were calculated overall and stratified by diabetes status and year. We calculated length of stay and in-hospital fatality stratified by diabetes status and type of LEA. RESULTS From 2001 to 2008, 46,536 minor LEAs and 43,528 major LEAs were performed. In patients with type 1 diabetes, the incidence of minor and major amputations decreased significantly from 2001 to 2008 (0.88-0.43 per 100,000 inhabitants and 0.59-0.22 per 100,000 inhabitants, respectively). In patients with type 2 diabetes, the incidence of minor and major LEAs increased significantly (9.23-10.9 per 100,000 inhabitants and 7.12-7.47 per 100,000 inhabitants). Hospital stay was similar among type 1 diabetic and type 2 diabetic subjects, according to the type of LEA. Only in-hospital mortality for minor LEAs among type 1 diabetic subjects decreased significantly (4.0% in 2001 vs. 1.6% in 2008). CONCLUSIONS Our national data show a decrease in the incidence of major and minor LEAs in patients with type 1 diabetes and an increase among patients with type 2 diabetes. Further improvement is necessary in the preventive care and early treatment of patients with diabetes. The management of foot lesions, especially among type 2 diabetic patients, is particularly urgent.