Diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputation (NLEA) in the United States. After a period of decline, some U.S. data show that diabetes-related NLEA has recently increased, particularly among young and middle-aged adults. However, the trend for older adults is less clear. To examine NLEA trends among older adults with diabetes (≥67 years), we used 100% Medicare claims for beneficiaries enrolled in Parts A and B during 2000-2017. NLEA was defined as the highest-level amputation per patient per calendar year. NLEA rates were stratified by sex, race and ethnicity, and NLEA level. All rates were age-sex standardized to the 2000 Medicare population. Trends over time were assessed using Joinpoint regression and annual percent change (APC) reported. NLEA rates (per 1,000 persons) halved from 8.5 in 2000 to 4.4 in 2009 (APC -7.9, p value<0.001). However, from 2009 to 2017 NLEA rates increased slightly to 4.8 (APC 1.2, p-value<0.001). Trends were similar across most sex and race/ethnic groups, however absolute rates were highest in blacks and men (Figure A). By NLEA level, overall increases were driven by increases in rates of toe and foot NLEAs. This study of the U.S. Medicare population shows that recent increases in diabetes-related NLEA are also occurring in the older population but at a less severe rate.


J. Harding: None. L.J. Andes: None. D.B. Rolka: None. G. Imperatore: None. Y. Li: None. E. Gregg: None. A.L. Albright: None.

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