Objective— To study the incidence of LEAs attributable to PVD in diabetic and nondiabetic patients. The age at first amputation, the level of amputation, the number of reamputations, and survival after amputation also were examined in the study populations.

Research Design and Methods— This retrospective study was based on a population of 253,000 inhabitants in eastern Finland. All patients with their first LEA performed during the period from 1 January 1978 to 31 December 1984 were identified from the registers of operation theaters in the study area. Furthermore, patient records and death certificates were reviewed. Amputations attributable to causes other than evident atherosclerotic vascular disease were excluded.

Results— Altogether, 477 patients (85 diabetic men, 127 nondiabetic men, 169 diabetic women, and 96 nondiabetic women) were identified. The overall LEA rate was 26.9/100,000 per yr, and the incidence increased strongly with age in both diabetic and nondiabetic patients. The age-adjusted amputation incidence per yr was 349.1/100,000 for diabetic men, 33.9/100,000 for nondiabetic men, 239.4/100,000 for diabetic women, and 17.2/100,000 for nondiabetic women. The proportion of peripheral (toe, leg) amputations was markedly higher in diabetic patients who also tended to have more reamputations during the follow-up than did nondiabetic subjects. The diabetic status per se was a statistically significant risk factor for mortality in women, but not in men.

Conclusions— Diabetic men and women had a 10.3- and 13.8-fold higher risk, respectively, for LEA.

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