Amputation risk for 168,000 diabetics in UAE
Abu Dhabi, September 15, 2012
More than 168,000 diabetics in the UAE risk the possibility of amputation if they sustain injuries on their limbs, said a recent study thus triggering an urgent call to launch the ‘Save the Feet’ program all over the country.
The study, which was undertaken in Al Ain region of Abu Dhabi on diabetic patients randomly selected over two years, showed the 12 per cent prevalence of peripheral vascular disease.
Peripheral vascular disease is a condition similar to what happens to the heart blood vessels, causing narrowing of the blood vessels. The disease refers to the narrowing of the blood vessels of the entire circulation except those of the heart.
As a result of this narrowing the patients are vulnerable to non-healing wounds, gangrene, infections and ultimately amputation, pointed out Dr Amit Kumar, the consultant, surgery at Abu Dhabi-based Burjeel Hospital.
Dr Kumar is also a clinical assistant professor- Department of Surgery, Columbia University, New York
"Poor circulation contributes to diabetic foot problems by reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrition to the body tissues, causing poor healing in case of injuries. What makes the problem more serious is that treatment procedures for diabetics often ignore the cardio vascular issues," he remarked.
Taking into consideration the grim situation, DrAmit called for an effort to raise awareness and encourage preventive measures through a ‘Save the Feet’ program.
He was speaking at a Continuous Medical Education (CME) seminar hosted by Burjeel Hospital recently in Abu Dhabi.
Dr Kumar has presented more than 65 such talks at various national and international meetings in an effort to increase the awareness of PVD as well as to increase the international presence of Abu Dhabi and the UAE at international conferences.
"Preventing complications related to injuries on the foot is important for diabetic patients because poor circulation impairs healing process and can lead to infection and other serious foot conditions," he explained.
"Many doctors focus only on the wounds and try to control diabetes but don’t pay enough attention to poor blood circulation on the feet and related problems which could lead to the possibility of amputation," he stated.
"That's why the nation requires a strong campaign such as ‘Save the Feet’ to increase awareness about this issue," said Dr Kumar.
The UAE has the second highest prevalence of diabetes in the world at 19.5 per cent, and it is estimated that this figure will go up to 21 per cent by 2025, according to IDF estimates.-TradeArabia News Service