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Study Finds Preventative Diabetes Care Reduces Amputation Occurrence
Date:10/30/2008

Americans Urged: "Elect to Save Your Feet," Get Annual Foot Check-ups

BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly 246 million people across the globe battle diabetes and its complications every year. However, medical care for diabetes is often not sought in time to prevent serious amputations, according to a recent survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).

The APMA study, conducted by an independent research firm, found that 25 percent of the 600 people surveyed who had suffered an amputation from diabetes said they should have seen a specialist -- such as a podiatrist -- sooner. Thirty percent of amputees said that paying closer attention to the warning signs, such as "hot spots" and foot ulcers, would have encouraged them to visit their physician before signs worsened.

Three ethnic groups, African-Americans, Caucasians and Hispanic-Americans, participated in the study. In total, 75 percent of all survey respondents had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The remaining 25 percent were considered high risk for developing the disease. Results showed that Hispanic-Americans were the least likely group to be tested for diabetes, compared to their African-American and Caucasian counterparts. Those surveyed cited the reason for not being tested was primarily due to normal blood sugar levels or not having noticeable symptoms.

Interestingly, 7 percent of Caucasian respondents reported they had undergone a diabetic amputation, compared to just 3 percent of African-American and 2 percent of Hispanic-American respondents. These findings defy the more traditional findings shown in national studies, which have historically found African-American and Hispanic-American diabetics to have had more diabetes amputations than Caucasians.

"This survey shows just how immensely important it is for those diagnosed with diabetes, and those at risk, to have their feet examined by a physician during their annual check
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SOURCE American Podiatric Medical Association
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