Page last updated at 06:48 GMT, Monday, 7 July 2008 07:48 UK

Diabetes forcing many amputations

Diabetes injection
Insulin injections can help those with type 2 diabetes

Around 100 people a week in the UK have a limb amputated as a result of diabetes, a charity has claimed.

Diabetes UK highlighted the statistic to raise awareness of the "life-shattering" impact of the illness.

People with diabetes are 15 times more likely to need a lower limb amputation than people without the condition.

Diabetes, which is on the increase, can also cause heart attacks, strokes, blindness and kidney failure.

This situation is shocking given that most amputations can be prevented with better awareness and management of the condition
Douglas Smallwood
Diabetes UK

People with diabetes are far more likely to develop foot problems, including ulcers, which can get infected and can even lead to gangrene.

More than one in 10 foot ulcers results in an amputation.

Figures suggest that about seven out of 10 people having an amputation will die within five years.

Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "This situation is shocking given that most amputations can be prevented with better awareness and management of the condition.

"People with diabetes need to have optimum support, guidance and clinical care to help minimise the risks of amputation.

"We want to see all people with diabetes have better access to podiatrists and to a regular foot check as part of their annual medical review."

There are currently 2.3 million people in the UK with Type 1 and 2 diabetes.

Type 1 usually develops in childhood while Type 2 is linked to lifestyle factors like obesity.

An extra 500,000 people in the UK have Type 2 diabetes but are unaware of it.


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