A pair of researchers from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, England, examined the mortality rate of individuals after a first-time lower-limb amputation to investigate whether any population or treatment factors are associated with worse mortality. They followed a cohort of 105 patients for three years. After three years, 35 individuals in the cohort had died, representing a mortality rate of 33 percent. They found that those who died were more likely to have diabetes mellitus and less likely to have been fitted with a prosthesis. There was no association with age, gender, level of amputation, social isolation, or significant medical comorbidity other than diabetes or presence of mood disorders. The researchers said their results require further investigation to ascertain why the wearing of a prosthetic limb confers an independent survival benefit that is not related to the presence of medical comorbidity. The study was published August 7 in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.