MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tom E. Robinson
School of Population Health
University of Auckland, New Zealand
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Diabetic foot disease affects up to 50% of people with diabetes and lower limb amputation is a serious complication that has a great impact both on patient quality of life and healthcare costs. Foot complications are however potentially preventable with good diabetes and foot care and early intervention. There is international evidence of unexplained ethnic variations in the incidence of lower limb amputation. This study found that ethnicity was strongly associated with risk of lower limb amputation. For example, New Zealand Maori people with diabetes have 63% higher rates of lower limb amputations and this increased risk is not altered by controlling for a range of demographic and clinical risk factors. Asian New Zealander’s have much lower risks of amputation but this may, at least in part, be explained by the ‘healthy migrant effect’.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: These findings support targeted early intervention for ethnic groups at risk. Clinicians, researchers and decision makers in other countries need to consider whether such inequalities also exist in their own communities.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: More research needs to be undertaken to try to understand the causes of increased amputation rates in ethnic groups at risk so effective interventions may be planned.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tom E. Robinson, School of Population Health, & University of Auckland, New Zealand (2015). Diabetic Foot Disease and Amputations Vary By Ethnicity