Lower Limb Amputation Rates Associated With Diabetes Drop, US

An investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that between 1996 and 2008, the number of leg and foot amputations among U.S. individuals, aged 40+ with diagnosed diabetes, decreased by 65%. The study, entitled "Declining Rates of Hospitalization for Non-traumatic Lower-Extremity Amputation in the Diabetic Population Aged 40 years or Older: U.S., 1988-2008," is published online in the current issue of Diabetes Care. In 1996, the age-adjusted rate of leg and foot amputations was 11.2 per 1,000 individuals with diabetes. However, in 2008 this rate fell to 3.9 per 1,000. Non-traumatic, lower-limb amputations, refers to amputations caused by circulatory problems, rather than those caused by injuries. Circulatory problems are a prevalent adverse effect in individuals suffering with diabetes. Furthermore, results from the study revealed that in 2008: Women had lower age-adjusted rates of lower-limb amputations (1.9 per 1,000) than men (6 per 1,000) Individuals aged 75+ had the highest rate (6.2 per 1,000) than people in other age groups Rates were higher among blacks (4.9 per 1,000) than whites (2.9 per 1,000) According to the researchers, the decrease in lower-limb amputations among individuals with diabetes may partially be due to factors such as: declines in heart disease, improvements in blood sugar control, as well as foot care and diabetes management. Nilka Ríos Burrows, M.P.H., an epidemiologist with CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation, explained: "The significant drop in rates of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations among U.S. adults with diagnosed diabetes is certainly encouraging, but more work is needed to reduce the disparities among certain populations. We must continue to increase awareness of the devastating health complications of diabetes. Diabetes is the...

Diabetic Teenagers More Likely To Drop Out Of High School And Face Worse Job Prospects

A study in the January issue of Health Affairs has found that students in high school with diabetes are at a higher risk of not completing their secondary education and face lower wages at work. It had already been known that living with diabetes can add a huge weight of restriction to one's life because of its countless health effects, but whether or not the disease has a significant effect on success at high school or in the workplace had not before been evaluated. The study found that high school dropout rates for people with diabetes are 6% higher than for high school students without the disease. In terms of job prospects, those who are diabetic, face a loss of more than $160,000 in wages over their working life, compared to those who aren't. According to Jason M. Fletcher, an associate professor of public health at Yale University: "Diabetes has a marked effect on schooling and earnings early in life, yet these are relatively unexamined implications of this disease". Fletcher and coauthor Michael R. Richards used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health as a means of analyzing the effects of diabetes among teenagers as they approach adulthood. The survey observed over 15,000 teenagers and provided distinctive insight into the economic effects the disease can have on them, as they get older. They found that the disparity in the high school dropout rate for diabetics compared to non-diabetics - over 6 percentage points higher - is greater than the male-female and black-white differences, and is comparable to the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder dropout rate. Interestingly, teenage diabetics with parents who also suffer from...

Sugar Facts

How toxic is sugar? Sugar has been a hot topic for some time. In Australia, anti-sugar campaigners, including author and former lawyer David Gillespie and journalist Sarah Wilson, are encouraging us to give up all foods and drinks containing added sugars. US paediatrician and endocrinologist Professor Robert Lustig, along with several colleagues, caused a stir when they labelled sugar toxic and called for it to be taxed in the same way as alcohol. (See Lustig's lecture Sugar: the bitter truth) Their article published in the journal Nature, they argued: the amount of added sugar consumed in processed food is linked to the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes many of the long-term health effects of excessive consumption of sugar are similar to those of alcohol sugar is not just another form of empty kilojoules processed foods containing added sugar need to be regulated in a similar way to alcohol. Lustig says the sugars added to processed food are causing metabolic syndrome, a collection of conditions (such as high blood pressure, carrying too much fat around your abdomen, and high blood sugar) that often occur together and increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease. But Professor Peter Clifton from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute says the health impacts of sugar may have been over-stated. He says there are no controlled studies showing that eating sugar causes high blood pressure or that cutting sugar alone reduces high blood pressure. "Sugar is just another form of over-consumed calories, easily available and very palatable but no more metabolically deadly than starch or...
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