One amputation every two hours: wake-up call for diabetic foot disease

Mortality rate worse than many cancers, researchers say

People are losing their lives and limbs — at the rate of one amputation every two hours — because of inaction over diabetic foot disease, researchers say.

The condition may well be Australia’s “least known major health problem”, with mortality rates higher than cancer, they write in the Medical Journal of Australia.

They call on key health bodies to act and invest in the actions outlined in a strategy released last year, which contains key recommendations to reduce the number of amputations.

“We call on Australian health professionals, researchers and government to finally act on one of our least known major health problems,” write the authors, including endocrinologist Associate Professor Paul Wraight of the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Dr Wraight is co-chair of Diabetic Foot Australia, a not-for-profit started in 2016 to tackle the