The post preceding this one shows data suggesting a steady state or perhaps drop in amputations over the past decade…but for diabetes?
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), 4% of Australians (898,000 people) have diabetes. That’s up from 1.5% in 1989.
There are three times as many people with diabetes in Indigenous populations compared to the proportion of people with diabetes in the non-Indigenous population.
Diabetes related complications are many and varied, but perhaps the most devastating is lower limb amputation. High blood sugar levels damage nerves and blood vessels, leading to poor circulation to the feet, which in turn can lead to foot ulcers, infections, and amputations.
Australia has an appalling record when it comes to diabetes related foot amputations, with rates increasing by 30% over the past decade. This is the second-to-worst record in the developed world.
Programs are in place to rectify this state of affairs, and diabetes research is paving the way for disease prevention and, hopefully one day, cure.