Complications > Foot

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Understanding the development of diabetic foot complications

Foot complications are the leading cause of hospitalization in people with diabetes. Losing a limb is one of the most dreaded complications of the condition – with reason: compared to those without the condition, people with diabetes have a 15-fold increased risk of suffering an amputation. In this article, Vilma Urbancic-Rovan describes the pathophysiology of diabetes foot damage and argues that the amputation rate could be significantly reduced with improved care and education for people with the condition.

Diabetes foot damage in developing countries: the urgent need for education

Figures released by the International Diabetes Federation suggest that worldwide in 2003 there were almost 200 million people with diabetes – a global prevalence of 5.1%. The report predicted that over the coming decade, the greatest increases in the numbers of people with the condition will occur in Africa and Asia, provoking hugely increased rates of death and disability. Diabetes foot complications constitute a major public health problem, particularly for people with diabetes in developing countries. In this article, Zulfiqarali Abbas and Stephan Morbach look

Religion, politics and the diabetic foot in Senegal

Sixty seven-year-old Venerable Karamogo is the spiritual and community leader of a village in the South of Senegal. About nine years after Karamogo was diagnosed with diabetes, a chronic infection developed in his left leg. The surgeons recommended amputation; but this advice was firmly rejected by Karamogo and his family.

The psycho-social impact of diabetes foot damage

Over half of all lower-extremity amputations are related to diabetes. Indeed, foot ulceration is an increasing problem worldwide and there is little evidence of a reduction in the numbers of foot ulcers and amputations in people with diabetes.

Counting the costs of the diabetic foot

Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires a life-long commitment of resources to the prevention and treatment of complications. The condition affects an increasing number of people all around the world, putting them at risk for foot ulcers and amputations. In addition to causing acute suffering, foot lesions in people with diabetes have substantial economic consequences: up to 20% of total expenditure on diabetes might be attributable to the diabetic foot. Jan Apelqvist and Gunnel Ragnarson Tennvall report on the economic impact of diabetes foot damage

Worsening the blow: the effects of smoking on diabetes complications

Cigarette smoking is a serious hazard to health. Yet, although as a group people with diabetes are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, this does not appear to influence smoking habits among them. Tobacco use among people with diabetes is strongly associated with a further increase in the risk of developing cardiovascular complications. Furthermore, research has indicated that smoking has negative effects on the metabolism of glucose and lipids (fat), leading

The diabetic foot: epidemiology, risk factors and the status of care

The development of foot problems is not an inevitable consequence of having diabetes. Indeed, most foot lesions are preventable. However, recent statistics are somewhat depressing: approximately a quarter of all people with diabetes worldwide at some point during their lifetime will develop sores or breaks (ulcers) in the skin of their feet. Moreover, as the number of people with diabetes rises worldwide, there can be little doubt that the burden of diabetes-related foot

Keeping people's feet perfect

Guest editor's editorial

A good year for feet

President's editorial

Key aspects of care after a lower-limb amputation

Of all the lower extremity amputations carried out worldwide, 40%-70% are related to diabetes. In people with the condition, ulceration is provoked by diabetesinduced nerve damage, reduced mobility due to alterations in the functioning of joints in the foot, and disorders in the blood vessels that supply the legs and feet (peripheral vascular disease). When a person’s ulcerated foot becomes infected or when the blood supply is severely impaired, amputation of the foot – or even the leg – may not be preventable. People with diabetes who have suffered an amputation

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