There has been a significant fall in the number of diabetes-related amputations since the mid-1990s.
Research carried out by doctors at Odense University Hospital Denmark found below-ankle amputation rates for diabetes patients have dropped by ten per cent, while the figure is 15 per cent for below-knee amputation.
These statistics come from Denmark, but are considered reflective of wealthy European nations, such as the UK, in general.
Improved care of diabetes and its complications, such as improved drugs and inspection and self-care of foot ulcers, were suggested as the most likely factors behind the drop in amputations.
The researchers, whose findings have been published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes), commented: "The findings in individuals with diabetes can therefore only be explained by improved diabetes care, namely improved metabolic control through drugs or lifestyle, or changes in how care is delivered, including better screening - we believe it to be both."
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