Finally, there’s good news for people with advanced kidney disease. A recently-published study in JAMA Internal Medicine reports that leg amputation — a common consequence for people with end-stage kidney disease who are on dialysis — has dropped by more than 50% between 2000 and 2014.
This is good news, and not just because amputation is a dramatic and traumatic event: nearly half of dialysis patients who receive leg amputations die within the year.
Dr. Tara Chang, one of the authors of the study, explained why kidney disease often leads to amputation — and what has changed to make amputation so much less likely today.
First, kidney disease involves a greater risk of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), in which circulation to the legs is compromised, Dr. Chang explains.
If compromised circulation sounds like something associated with diabetes, that’s because it is. In fact, diabetes is a major risk factor for kidney disease, and people who have both diabetes and kidney disease are five times as likely to require amputation than patients with kidney disease alone. High blood pressure is also associated with PAD, and likely contributes to the risk of amputation.
While the study does not address why amputation rates are falling, Dr. Chang suggests that better management of the multiple health conditions associated with kidney disease may well be the cause. “It may be related to better blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol management, more frequent foot checks, or other interventions.”
Dialysis patients are a vulnerable population, and it is therefore important to ensure that they receive the best care possible to afford them better, longer lives. Tower Lodge Care Center, in Wall, NJ, is uniquely positioned to provide the attentive and compassionate care that these people need. Call us at 732-681-1400, or by clicking here to find out how we can help you or your loved one live better with kidney disease.