Politicians and physicians “should work together” for solutions to reduce major amputation rates


Christian-Alexander Behrendt (Hamburg, Germany) talks to BLearning Peripherial at ESVS 2019 (European Society of Vascular Surgery; 24-27 September 2019; Hamburg, Germany) about an international study that underlines the stark difference between the number of major amputations in countries like Hungary and Slovakia and others, such as New Zealand.

The data was collected in Europe and Australasia as part of the VASCUNET collaboration from 2010 until 2014, covering 259 million people from 12 countries. It showed that the number of major amputations declined in most countries.

New Zealand, the country with the lowest major amputation incidence, had an average incidence rate of 7.2/100,000. However, Behrendt points out that Hungary has “higher major amputation rates compared to other countries” (41.4/100,000) and Slovakia actually saw an increase in major amputation rates over time.

Behrendt hypothesises that health expenditure (e.g., for vascular maintenance) in Eastern Europe is “lower than in countries with low major amputation rates”. Behrendt also emphasises that politicians and “vascular physicians should work together” to strengthen both the prevention and treatment of limb-threatening ischaemia among peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) patients.

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