People with diabetes can reduce their chances of needing amputations by 15% if they are treated by podiatrists, according to US research.
Dr James Wrobel, based in Chicago’s Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, co-authored a large-scale, national study on the issue. He said: “More than half of all amputations in the US are related to diabetes. Podiatrists are detecting conditions that can lead to amputation. That’s just what we do.”
Researchers looked at the records of almost 29,000 diabetes patients aged between 18 and 64, comparing health and risk factors for people who saw a podiatrist with those who never. The findings showed that a podiatrist’s care could be linked with a near 15% lower risk of amputation and a 17% lower risk of having to be admitted to hospital.
Also involved in the study was Teresa Gibson, a Thomson Reuters researcher. She said: “We statistically matched patients with diabetes and foot ulcers who had visited a podiatrist with like patients who had not. Patients who had seen a podiatrist in the year prior to the onset of a foot ulcer had significantly lower rates of any amputation and hospitalisation than those who had not.”