50 per cent with diabetic foot ulcer die in five years

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50 per cent with diabetic foot ulcer die in five years

Around 50 per cent of people die within five years of developing a diabetic foot ulcer according to a new report released by the NHS, and faster referral to specialist assessment is needed to help prevent and manage foot problems associated with diabetes.

The report, produced in collaboration with the British Orthopaedic Association, the British Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, the Vascular Society, Diabetes UK, the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists, Foot in Diabetes UK and the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists, aims to make sure patients with acute diabetic foot disease receive high quality care wherever they present.

Foot complications are common in people with diabetes with between five and seven per cent of people with diabetes having a current or previous foot ulceration.

“If we can ensure patients with diabetes have the appropriate, high quality care they deserve across the country then we can prevent amputations,” said Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS England’s national clinical director for Diabetes and Obesity.

“There are several steps we can take to ensure this happens, one of which is to ensure that those presenting with active diabetic foot disease have rapid access to a multidisciplinary diabetic foot service. Higher mortality rates are thought to be related to heart disease and therefore we also need to ensure the all-round health of the patient is cared for, including addressing their overall cardiovascular disease risk.”

Diabetes is the most common cause of non-traumatic limb amputation, with diabetic foot ulcers preceding more than 80 per cent of amputations in people with diabetes.

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