A growing amputation trend

Since 2001, the number of diagnosed diabetes nationwide has increased by 7%, but the number of amputations among diabetics has grown by 18%, ABC News reported Feb. 19.

Experts are sounding the alarm on the sharp increase in limb amputation, usually from complications from peripheral artery disease — which can cause decreased blood flow in limbs. In many cases, diabetics can avoid losing a limb, but lack of awareness of treatments has led to many missing out on critical care, medical professionals told the news outlet.

About 154,000 toes, arms, legs and feet are amputated every year, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. A September study found Black and Latino diabetics are four times more likely to get an amputation than diabetics of other ethnicities.

More awareness around treatment could prevent many amputations and even some drugs have been shown to help. One study found that Ozempic and similar drugs lowered the risk of amputations by as much as 50%.

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