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Older adults face heightened risk of diabetes-related amputation

The rate of diabetes-related amputations in older adults increased significantly between 2009 and 2017, according to Jessica Harding, PhD, an assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine. Specifically, nontraumatic lower extremity amputations (NLEA) have been on the rise, growing more than 1% per year from 2009 to 2017, according to Dr. Harding.

It’s not clear why NLEA has been on the rise, but it may be because of changes in amputation practices, increased comorbidities, higher insulin costs, or shortcomings in early prevention programs, explains Dr. Harding.