Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) may affect up to 25% of people with diabetes at some point in their lifetime. Once a person has developed a DFU, there is a 50% chance the ulcer will become infected. DFUs are also among the leading causes of amputation.
By Dr. Mark Hinkes, DPM
On June 27, 1991, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and World Health Organization (WHO) proclaimed the first World Diabetes Day. Today, World Diabetes Day is celebrated worldwide as an acknowledgement of the condition, symptoms, complications, treatment and resolve to find a cure for the disease. Participants in the celebration include 230 member associations of the International Diabetes Federation in more than 160 countries and territories. All Member States of the United Nations as well as other associations and organizations, companies, health care professionals and people living with diabetes and their families also observe World Diabetes Day. World Diabetes day will be celebrated on Friday, November 14th this year.
The Current State of Diabetes in the US
Every time I look at the statistics, I am a bit more shocked to realize that the numbers are going up much faster than I thought possible. Diabetes currently affects more than 371 million people worldwide and is expected to affect more than 552 million by 2030. In the US, a new case of diabetes is diagnosed every 30 seconds and more than 1.9 million people are diagnosed each year.1
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 29.1 million people in US have diabetes, or about 9.3% of the population. About 21 million of them are diagnosed, 8.1 million people are undiagnosed, and 79 million more people have the pre-diabetes form of the disease.2
To acknowledge involvement in World Diabetes Day, the symbol of Unity against Diabetes became the blue circle. In 2007 as a sign of unity with people suffering from diabetes, a campaign was launched whose aim was to highlight the most important buildings around the world in blue. So if you are out on the evening of June 27, and see a local building bathed in blue light, you will know why.
The Intersection of Wound Care and Diabetes
Diabetes is no stranger to those of us who work in wound care. We see its affects daily as we work diligently to heal the wounds on the people we serve and give them the opportunity to live better quality lives. Perhaps the most distressing aspect of diabetes and wound care is that the number of people affected by the complications of diabetes is increasing and so is the need for wound care.
World Diabetes Day is a celebration of the achievements made by scientists like Banning and Best who discovered insulin and a reminder of how far medical science still has to go to conquer this condition. World Diabetes Day is also a comforting reminder for those who are affected with the condition that they are not alone, that there is a worldwide consciousness about it and that there are many researchers, companies and organizations who are devoting significant energy, time and money to the search for a cure.
1. JDRF. General Diabetes Facts. JDRF.org. jdrf.org/about-jdrf/fact-sheets/general-diabetes-facts/. Accessed November 6, 2014.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014. CDC.gov. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/statsreport14/national-diabetes-report-.... Accessed November 6, 2014.
About the Author
Dr. Mark Hinkes is the former Chief of the Podiatry Service and Director of Podiatric Medical Education for the Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Nashville and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, part of the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System. He was Chairman of the Preservation Amputation Care and Treatment (PACT) Program for more than a decade. He is Board Certiﬁed by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, and the American Professional Wound Care Association, and is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
Dr. Hinkes spends time consulting, lecturing, and writing about foot health issues on his website, www.dr-mark.net. His most recent book, Healthy Feet for People with Diabetes, is a practical self-care guide designed for patient education.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.
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