Mortality rate of diabetic foot disease higher than common cancers

VANCOUVER, Oct. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - "Today, around the world, every five seconds someone develops diabetes. Every 10 seconds someone dies from diabetes and every 20 seconds there is a diabetic lower limb amputation."  Those are the sobering words of Dr. Perry Mayer, Medical Director of The Mayer Institute (TMI), the first centre of excellence in Ontario that specializes in advanced diabetes foot and wound care.

Dr. Mayer will be addressing the 15th Annual Conference of the Canadian Diabetes Association/Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Vancouver Convention Centre (West building Ballroom A/B) this afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

Mayer says Canadians would be shocked to learn that the five-year mortality rate for someone who has a healable, diabetes related foot wound is higher than almost all cancers except lung and pancreatic cancer. Nearly one third of people with diabetes who require an amputation will die within the following year and two thirds will die within 5 years.

Not only are diabetic foot ulcers a serious complication of diabetes, they are a common one. It is estimated that 15 per cent of Canadians with diabetes or over 400,000 people, will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime. Several of the chronic complications of diabetes contribute to the risk of foot ulcers: loss of sensation due to nerve damage that allows small cuts or injuries to go unnoticed, and both blockages in blood vessels and decreased immune function that make it difficult for a wound to heal. Canadians with diabetes are 23 times more likely to be hospitalized for a limb amputation than those without diabetes and 85 per cent of those amputations are the result of a non-healing foot ulcer.

Effective and skilled management of foot ulcers by healthcare providers is critical to prevent amputation. People living with diabetes can work to prevent the development of ulcers through a foot care regimen, daily foot inspection and proper foot wear also plays an important role.

"The management of diabetic foot disease is as vital to the health of our patients as is the treatment of diabetic eye disease, kidney disease or heart disease and, yet, it is routinely underdiagnosed an undertreated" says Dr. Mayer.

Interviews may be conducted up to an hour before his address or immediately following.

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For more information on Dr. Mayer click on: http://diabeticulcersandwounds.ca/

About the Canadian Diabetes Association
The Canadian Diabetes Association is a registered charitable organization, leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our professional staff and more than 20,000 volunteers provide education and services to help people in their daily fight against the disease, advocate on behalf of people with diabetes for the opportunity to achieve their highest quality of life, and break ground towards a cure. Please visit diabetes.ca, join us on facebook.com/CanadianDiabetesAssociation, follow us on Twitter @DiabetesAssoc, or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

SOURCE: Canadian Diabetes Association

For further information:

For more information and to schedule an interview with Dr. Perry V. Mayer, contact:

Chris Olsen
Media Relations
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Phone: 604-689-5559
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Linda Munro
Media Relations
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Phone: 604-689-5559
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Natasha Netschay Davies
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