Foot ulcerations are one of the most serious complications of diabetes, resulting in more than 80,000 lower-leg amputations each year in the U.S. alone. A new study led by researchers at the Joslin-Beth Israel Deaconess Foot Center and Microcirculation Laboratory finds that early changes in the oxygenation of the skin could help foretell the development of ulcerations and enable doctors to treat patients at an earlier stage, before the onset of serious complications.
Reported in the Nov. 12 issue of the medical journal The Lancet, the study is part of a special issue devoted to diabetic foot disease to coincide with World Diabetes Day, also Nov.12th.
"Nearly one in 40 diabetes patients will develop foot ulcers every year and more than 15 percent of these individuals will have to undergo amputation," explains Aristidis Veves, MD, DSc, research director of the Joslin-Beth Israel Deaconess Foot Center and Microcirculation Laboratory and associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. "And, unfortunately, an amputation is often the beginning of a rapid downward cycle from which the patient never recovers."
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