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updated 1/24/2012 4:35:51 PM ET 2012-01-24T21:35:51

Health officials say far fewer diabetics are losing lower limbs to the disease.

A new government study shows the rate of amputations has fallen by more than half since the 1990s. Health officials believe the numbers are down because of better treatments that keep blood sugar under control.

Diabetes can cause poor circulation and nerve damage, which sometimes leads to the loss of toes, feet or legs.

The study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was released Tuesday by the medical journal Diabetes Care.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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