Declining Rates of Hospitalization for Nontraumatic Lower-Extremity Amputation in the Diabetic Population Aged 40 Years or Older: U.S., 1988–2008

  1. Linda S. Geiss, MA2
  1. 1Northrop Grumman Contractor, Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
  2. 2Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
  1. Corresponding author: Nilka Ríos Burrows, nrios{at}


OBJECTIVE To assess trends in rates of hospitalization for nontraumatic lower-extremity amputation (NLEA) in U.S. diabetic and nondiabetic populations and disparities in NLEA rates within the diabetic population.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We calculated NLEA hospitalization rates, by diabetes status, among persons aged ≥40 years on the basis of National Hospital Discharge Survey data on NLEA procedures and National Health Interview Survey data on diabetes prevalence. We used joinpoint regression to calculate the annual percentage change (APC) and to assess trends in rates from 1988 to 2008.

RESULTS The age-adjusted NLEA discharge rate per 1,000 persons among those diagnosed with diabetes and aged ≥40 years decreased from 11.2 in 1996 to 3.9 in 2008 (APC −8.6%; P < 0.01), while rates among persons without diagnosed diabetes changed little. NLEA rates in the diabetic population decreased significantly from 1996 to 2008 in all demographic groups examined (all P < 0.05). Throughout the entire study period, rates of diabetes-related NLEA were higher among persons aged ≥75 years than among those who were younger, higher among men than women, and higher among blacks than whites.

CONCLUSIONS From 1996 to 2008, NLEA discharge rates declined significantly in the U.S. diabetic population. Nevertheless, NLEA continues to be substantially higher in the diabetic population than in the nondiabetic population and disproportionately affects people aged ≥75 years, blacks, and men. Continued efforts are needed to decrease the prevalence of NLEA risk factors and to improve foot care among certain subgroups within the U.S. diabetic population that are at higher risk.

  • Received July 19, 2011.
  • Accepted October 28, 2011.

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