High triglycerides an amputation risk

A US study of nearly 30,000 patients with diabetes shows hypertriglyceridaemia is a significant independent risk factor for lower-limb amputation.

The 10-year follow-up of a US health fund cohort showed diabetes patients with triglyceride levels of 1.7 to 2.3 mmol/L had a 10% increased risk of non-traumatic lower-limb amputation.

Triglyceride levels of 2.3 mmol/L to 5.7 mmol/L increased amputation risk to 27%, and levels over 5.7 mmol/L took it to 65%.

LDL and HDL cholesterol levels were not associated with amputation risk in the study.

Professor Paul Nestel, a senior faculty member at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, said the findings were consistent with an Australian study that showed the triglyceride-lowering agent fenofibrate reduced the need for amputation in diabetes patients.

People with diabetes complicated by lipid disorders should be treated with statins, but there