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Diabetes and Vascular Problems

Peripheral Artery Disease 

People living with diabetes are at higher risk of developing Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) which causes blockage in the arteries, resulting in decreased blood flow. PAD may be caused by smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Talk to your doctor if you have pain in your legs while walking, pain in your feet at rest, or of you have a sore on your leg. These may be signs of PAD.

Reduce the risk of plaque build-up by:

  • Quitting smoking - smokers are 10 times as likely to develop PAD
  • Managing blood sugars, blood pressure and cholesterol as recommended by your care team
  • Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly

75% of all amputations are due to diabetes 

Early detection and treatment is critical to limb preservation.

UMass Heart and Vascular Center

The UMass Memorial Heart and Vascular Center provides adults and children with the most comprehensive care for all types of heart disease and vascular conditions.   

Diabetes Limb PreservationThe Healing Powers of Placenta

“The major fear of any diabetic is limb loss,” said Dr. Louis M. Messina, chief of vascular surgery at UMass Memorial and acting Director of the Limb Preservation Center.  There have been many ideas for healing diabetic ulcers, however most have not been rigorously tested, according to Dr. Messina. “The use of the placenta membrane is relatively new and there have been studies done that suggest that it will make a big impact, but it’s still on the early side.” 


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