Foluso A. Fakorede, MD, a cardiologist in Bolivar County, MS, has used prevention, screening, and treatment strategies to reduce amputations by 88% in the Mississippi Delta area where he practices. Here, Dr. Fakorede discusses risk factors for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and amputation in patients with diabetes, and how to reduce disparities in diabetic amputations.
Q: How common are lower extremity amputations among people who have diabetes? What are the burdens of diabetic amputations—in terms of medical costs and impact on quality of life?
A: There’s an epidemic of amputations, which disproportionately affects people who have diabetes. Overall, about 200,000 people in the United States have amputations each year, and about 130,000 of those people have diabetes.