Increased cardiovascular disease mortality rates in traumatic lower limb amputees

Michaela Modan, Einat Peles, Hillel Halkin, Hedva Nitzan, Morris Azaria, Sanford Gitel, Dan Dolfin, Baruch Modan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluated the 24-year mortality rates of male traumatic lower limb amputees (n = 201) of the Israeli army, wounded between 1948 and 1974 compared with a cohort sample representing the general population (n = 1,832). Mortality rates were significantly higher (21.9% vs 12.1%, p <0.001) in amputees than in controls. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality was the main cause for this difference. The prevalence of selected risk factors for CVD was determined in 101 surviving amputees (aged 50 to 65 years) and a sample of the controls (n = 96) matched by age and ethnic origin. Amputees had higher plasma insulin levels (during fasting and in response to oral glucose loading) and increased blood coagulation activity. No differences were found in rates of current symptoms of ischemic heart disease or of cerebrovascular disease, obesity, hypertension, altered plasma lipoprotein profile, impaired physical activity, smoking, or nutritional habits. Traumatic lower limb amputees had increased mortality rates due to CVD. Surviving amputees had hyperinsulinemia, increased coagulability, and increased sympathetic and parasympathetic responses (described previously). These established CVD risk factors may explain the excess mortality due to CVD in traumatic amputees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1242-1247
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes


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