SINGAPORE: One in five diabetic patients (22 per cent) who underwent lower extremity amputation (LEA) dies within a year due to multiple complications, according to a study released on Tuesday (Apr 26).
The 10-year study, conducted by the National Healthcare Group Health Services and Outcomes Research (HSOR) unit, involved 2,170 patients from Tan Tock Seng Hospital, with an average age of about 64.
As 85 per cent of all major amputations are preceded by foot ulcers, doctors advise patients to seek treatment early to increase the chances of saving the limb. About 20 per cent of all diabetes patients will develop foot ulcers in their lifetime.
Singapore has one of the highest rates of LEA in the world. Four amputations are conducted every day in public hospitals.
The Ministry of Health had declared a war on diabetes during the Committee of Supply debate earlier in April. There are more than 400,000 diabetics in Singapore and the numbers are estimated to hit a million by 2050.
Diabetes can lead to kidney failure, heart disease or amputations, and the risk of these complications can begin even at a pre-diabetic stage. But one in three people in Singapore with diabetes is unaware of their condition.
According to the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, Singapore is expected to have 1 million diabetics by 2050. The study cited an ageing population and a rise in obesity as reasons.