Who will heal? Data from Malmo Sweden

Interesting data from Malmo, Sweden outlined by Deborah Condon today's Irish Health:

Foot ulcers are a common complication of diabetes and without proper, timely care, they can lead to amputation. However a new study has determined the factors which give a person the best chance of seeing their ulcer heal.

Between 2005 and 2009, almost 6,000 people with diabetes in Ireland developed a foot ulcer requiring inpatient hospital treatment, according to the Diabetes Federation of Ireland.

However, according to Swedish researchers, who have carried out the world's largest study into diabetes and foot ulcers, three factors together will increase the chances of an ulcer healing:
-That the ulcer is superficial
-Blood circulation is normal
-The person has not had diabetes for a long time.

“People who have had diabetes for a long time often develop poor blood circulation in their legs, which hampers healing,” explained researcher, Magdalena Annersten Gershater, of Malmö University.

The study involved almost 2,500 patients with foot ulcers. Of these, two in three did not require amputation, however, almost one in 10 required amputation of the toes or the front of the affected foot, while almost one in 10 needed their leg amputated.

“The study shows that deep infections, vascular disease, the location of the sore, male gender and other diseases all increase the risk of amputation,” Ms Gershater said.

However, she noted that ‘age as such is not a risk factor'.

“The study shows that 65% of the patients healed without amputation. What was decisive for the ulcer to heal was that the sore is superficial, that the patient has not had diabetes for long and that blood circulation is normal.”

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