New Study Proves Care by Podiatrists Dramatically Decreases Lower Limb Amputation

Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:02pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.


*MEDIA NOTE: Study will be presented at the Washington State Convention
Center on Saturday, July 17, at 7:30am.

    Essential foot care by a podiatrist has now been statistically proven to
reduce hospitalization and amputation in adults with diabetes, according
to a first of its kind study conducted by Thomson Reuters. The study will
be presented by Vickie R. Driver, MS, DPM, during the American Podiatric
Medical Association's (APMA) 98th Annual Scientific Meeting in Seattle,
July 15-18, 2010. The presentation will highlight the dramatic impact
that as few as one visit to a podiatrist can have on patients with

    The study, which was sponsored by APMA, examined records for more than
32,000 patients with diabetes, ages 18-64, and compared health and risk
factors for those who had podiatry visits to those who did not.
Researchers found that care by a podiatric physician (defined as at least
one preventative, pre-ulcer visit) was associated with a nearly 29
percent lower risk of amputation and 24 percent lower risk of
hospitalization. Diabetic foot complications are the leading cause of
non-traumatic lower limb amputation in the U.S. 

    "The results of this study undeniably support visits to a podiatrist
being critical to a diabetes patient's health and well being," said APMA
member Dr. Driver. "No longer can care by a podiatrist be considered
optional for those with diabetes, and the earlier a podiatrist is
included in the diabetes management team, the better quality of life for
the patient and greater health-care cost savings for all involved. This
study clearly allows us to understand both the clinical and economic
value of a podiatrist, in the team approach to saving diabetic patients'

    The study was conducted using Thomson Reuters' MarketScan Research
Databases, which house fully integrated, de-identified health-care claims
data extensively used by researchers to understand health economics and
outcomes. Studies based on MarketScan data have been published in more
than 130 peer-reviewed articles in the past five years.

    Lead researcher Teresa Gibson, PhD, director of health outcomes research
at Thomson Reuters said, "Using the MarketScan Databases, we
statistically matched patients with diabetes and foot ulcers who had
visited a podiatrist with like patients who had not. The analysis of the
data indicates that patients who had seen a podiatrist in the year prior
to the onset of a foot ulcer had significantly lower rates of any
amputation and hospitalization than those who had not."

    For additional information on the study, visit 

    Media interested in attending the presentation during the APMA 98th
Annual Scientific Meeting should contact Angela Berard at or 301-861-9342.

    Founded in 1912, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) is the
nation's leading and recognized professional organization for doctors of
podiatric medicine (DPMs). DPMs are podiatric physicians and surgeons,
also known as podiatrists, qualified by their education, training and
experience to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and
structures of the leg. The medical education and training of a DPM
includes four years of undergraduate education, four years of graduate
education at an accredited podiatric medical college and two or three
years of hospital residency training. APMA has 53 state component
locations across the United States and its territories, with a membership
of close to 12,000 podiatrists. All practicing APMA members are licensed
by the state in which they practice podiatric medicine. For more
information, visit

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Angela Berard

Mike Kulick

David Wilkins

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