Lower extremity amputations--a review of global variability in incidence

Diabet Med. 2011 Oct;28(10):1144-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2011.03279.x.


Aim: To quantify global variation in the incidence of lower extremity amputations in light of the rising prevalence of diabetes mellitus.

Methods: An electronic search was performed using the EMBASE and MEDLINE databases from 1989 until 2010 for incidence of lower extremity amputation. The literature review conformed to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement standards.

Results: Incidence of all forms of lower extremity amputation ranges from 46.1 to 9600 per 10(5) in the population with diabetes compared with 5.8-31 per 10(5) in the total population. Major amputation ranges from 5.6 to 600 per 10(5) in the population with diabetes and from 3.6 to 68.4 per 10(5) in the total population. Significant reductions in incidence of lower extremity amputation have been shown in specific at-risk populations after the introduction of specialist diabetic foot clinics.

Conclusion: Significant global variation exists in the incidence of lower extremity amputation. Ethnicity and social deprivation play a significant role but it is the role of diabetes and its complications that is most profound. Lower extremity amputation reporting methods demonstrate significant variation with no single standard upon which to benchmark care. Effective standardized reporting methods of major, minor and at-risk populations are needed in order to quantify and monitor the growing multidisciplinary team effect on lower extremity amputation rates globally.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amputation, Surgical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / surgery*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / surgery*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lower Extremity / physiopathology
  • Lower Extremity / surgery*
  • Male
  • Prevalence