Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the incidence of vascular lower-limb amputation (LLA) in the diabetic and nondiabetic general population.
Research design and methods: A population-based cohort study was conducted in a representative Swedish region. All vascular LLAs (at or proximal to the transmetatarsal level) performed from 1997 through 2006 were consecutively registered and classified into initial unilateral amputation, contralateral amputation, or reamputation. The incidence rates were estimated in the diabetic and nondiabetic general population aged > or =45 years.
Results: During the 10-year period, LLA was performed on 62 women and 71 men with diabetes and on 79 women and 78 men without diabetes. The incidence of initial unilateral amputation per 100,000 person-years was 192 (95% CI 145-241) for diabetic women, 197 (152-244) for diabetic men, 22 (17-26) for nondiabetic women, and 24 (19-29) for nondiabetic men. The incidence increased from the age of 75 years. Of all amputations, 74% were transtibial. The incidences of contralateral amputation and of reamputation per 100 amputee-years in diabetic women amputees were 15 (7-27) and 16 (8-28), respectively; in diabetic men amputees 18 (10-29) and 21 (12-32); in nondiabetic women amputees 14 (7-24) and 18 (10-28); and in nondiabetic men amputees 13 (6-22) and 24 (15-35).
Conclusions: In the general population aged > or =45 years, the incidence of vascular LLA at or proximal to the transmetatarsal level is eight times higher in diabetic than in nondiabetic individuals. One in four amputees may require contralateral amputation and/or reamputation.