Statins May Lower Amputation Risk in Diabetes

Statins may have a beneficial side effect in lowering amputation risk

| Sep 12, 2013

Some cholesterol-lowering drugs may help reduce the risk of amputation for those with diabetes, according to a new study.

The study focused on more than 80,000 patients in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs health care system with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Over a five-year period, those patients were monitored for cholesterol-lowering agents, diabetic medication, A1c levels, body mass index, and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Patients were also accessed for major risk factors of lower extremity amputation, such as peripheral diabetic neuropathy, peripheral artery disease and foot ulcers.

Researchers found that those taking statins-drugs that help lower cholesterol by reducing the production of cholesterol in the liver-were 34 to 43 percent less likely to experience a lower extremity amputation compared to those not taking statins.

Other cholesterol-lowering medications did not have a significant impact on amputations, researchers added.

"This is the first study to report a significant association between statin use and diminished amputation risk among patients with diabetes," authors of the study wrote. "In this nonrandomized cohort, beneficial effects of statin therapy were similar to that seen in large-scale clinical trial experience."

The study appeared last month in the Journal of Vascular Surgery.

Another study, this one from the University of Michigan Medical School, found that using older medical technology-a procedure known as Raman spectroscopy-could help diagnose inflammation of the foot and leg earlier than some other techniques, making amputation a less likely outcome.

Osteomyelitis, or inflammation of the foot, is a common risk factor for those with diabetes, but it is often difficult to diagnosis in early stages, researchers said.

Cases diagnosed later are more difficult to treat, making amputation more likely.

Through the use of lasers, Raman spectroscopyis ableto detect the existence of pathological calcium phosphate minerals in addition to normal bone mineral, an early sign of osteomyelitis.

By detecting such changes in the bone composition of diabetes patients, the technique can make that early diagnosis, so ensuing treatment for the inflammation is more likely to be successful.

The study appeared last month in the American Diabetes Association journal Diabetes Care.


Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Amputations, Calcium Phosphate, Foot ulcers, Inflammation of the Foot, Osteomyelitis, Peripheral Artery Disease, Peripheral Diabetic Neuropathy, Raman Spectroscopy, Statins

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.