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Mental health linked to amputation risk in diabetic veterans
Date:12/20/2007

d above a high school education, who were not obese, and who were not considered poor.

Amputations are a major complication of diabetes. Most studies of amputation risk factors have focused on medical conditionsfor example, foot problems such as ulcers or infections or control of diabetes. Although some research has suggested that mental health care may affect the risk of diabetes-related amputations, the new study is the first to address this issue directly.

The results suggest that poor mental health functioning is an important risk factor for major amputations in diabetic veterans. Although the study cannot prove any cause-and-effect relationship, Dr. Tseng and colleagues believe that problems with mental health may interfere with needed diabetes care, including foot care.

The researchers urge medical professionals and patients to be aware of the possible link between mental health and amputation risk. They conclude, "Identifying patients who are at higher risk for major amputations due to poor mental health functioning may allow the dedication of resources and services to more closely supervise and manage their podiatric needs, perhaps leading to fewer amputations."


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Contact: Jayne Dawkins
ja.dawkins@elsevier.com
215-129-3674
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

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