Peripheral Arterial Disease
PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease) is one of the most serious and invalidating consequences of diabetes, which causes loss of sensitivity in the limbs (Peripheral Neuropathy), their ulceration (Ischemic Diabetic Foot) and consequent amputation due to infection, necrosis or gangrene.
This complication, unfortunately frequent, makes diabetic patients 25 times more at risk of limb loss than non-diabetics.
70% of leg amputations throughout the world are carried out on diabetic patients and usually, before the amputation takes place, these patients develop an ulcer due to reduced arterial circulation.
In developed countries one person out of six with diabetes develops a foot ulcer during his/her lifetime, often leading to amputation and therefore consequent disability.
It is estimated that every 20 seconds a leg is amputated somewhere in the world due to peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
In developed countries the cost of the treatment of the diabetic foot represents 15-25% of available resources for the treatment of diabetes in general.
It is estimated that in some developing countries the ischemic diabetic foot may use up to 40% of available resources for the treatment of diabetic patients in general.
On the positive side, currently over 90% of all diabetes-related amputations may be prevented thanks to the education of diabetic patients (primary prevention) and, mainly, to the new non-surgical revascularization techniques, which effectively fight the consequences of diabetic arteriopathy (secondary prevention).