Posted by: kellydh | July 16, 2007

Chicago Tribune: Rise in diabetes makes prosthetics firms step up

I was just in Chicago a few weeks ago for the Changing Diabetes bus, and we reached over 5000 people with diabetes information.  But, there are so many more people that need to know about diabetes.

A recent article in the Chicago Tribune describes one side-effect of the diabetes epidemic: an increase in prostheses use.  Diabetes is the leading “non-traumatic” cause of limb amputations, and the number of people lining up for replacement limbs is on the rise.

The number of amputees in the United States has grown by nearly 1 million in the past decade, according to federal statistics, and roughly 60 percent of amputations are diabetes-related.”   That’s a lot of people!!!

The article continues, “Public health experts (that’s us at unite for diabetes!!) are ramping up efforts nationwide to reverse the trend, but for now there is a boom in the long-sleepy prosthetics industry, which experts say has not seen a sales spike like this since its modern inception on Civil War battlefields”

“Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t process it well. Because diabetics have reduced circulation in their limbs, an estimated five of every 1,000 diabetics eventually requires an amputation, usually of a leg. Up to half of the amputees lose two limbs.”

Okay, there’s some much-needed motivation to kick-start my blood sugars into a good range…


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