Epidemiology of leg amputation: The influence of vascular surgery



The number of amputations performed for vascular disease in Denmark has decreased from 1777 (34·5 per 100 000 population) in 1983 to 1288 (25·0 per 100 000) in 1990, a reduction of 28 per cent. This decline coincided with an increase in vascular surgical activity of up to 100 per cent, including a marked rise in the rate of femorodistal reconstruction. Moreover, regional variation in vascular surgical activity correlated with percentage reduction in amputation rate (rs = 0·65, P < 0·01). The relative number of above-knee amputations also decreased in favour of more distal levels during the period studied. These findings suggest that vascular surgery may be responsible for the lower amputation rate.