Foot ulcer prevalence is up to 4% in people with #diabetes

PLOS ONE: Diabetic Foot Complications and Their Risk Factors from a Large Retrospective Cohort Study.

This terrific report on a cohort of more than 60,000 Saudi people with diabetes from our colleagues Mohamad al Derwish and coworkers from King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh.

Prevalence of diabetic foot complications
Prevalence of diabetic foot complications


Foot complications are considered to be a serious consequence of diabetes mellitus, posing a major medical and economical threat. Identifying the extent of this problem and its risk factors will enable health providers to set up better prevention programs. Saudi National Diabetes Registry (SNDR), being a large database source, would be the best tool to evaluate this problem.


This is a cross-sectional study of a cohort of 62,681 patients aged ≥25 years from SNDR database, selected for studying foot complications associated with diabetes and related risk factors.


The overall prevalence of diabetic foot complications was 3.3% with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) of (3.16%–3.44%), whilst the prevalences of foot ulcer, gangrene, and amputations were 2.05% (1.94%–2.16%), 0.19% (0.16%–0.22%), and 1.06% (0.98%–1.14%), respectively. The prevalence of foot complications increased with age and diabetes duration predominantly amongst the male patients. Diabetic foot is more commonly seen among type 2 patients, although it is more prevalent among type 1 diabetic patients. The Univariate analysis showed Charcot joints, peripheral vascular disease (PVD), neuropathy, diabetes duration ≥10 years, insulin use, retinopathy, nephropathy, age ≥45 years, cerebral vascular disease (CVD), poor glycemic control, coronary artery disease (CAD), male gender, smoking, and hypertension to be significant risk factors with odds ratio and 95% CI at 42.53 (18.16–99.62), 14.47 (8.99–23.31), 12.06 (10.54–13.80), 7.22 (6.10–8.55), 4.69 (4.28–5.14), 4.45 (4.05–4.89), 2.88 (2.43–3.40), 2.81 (2.31–3.43), 2.24 (1.98–2.45), 2.02 (1.84–2.22), 1.54 (1.29–1.83), and 1.51 (1.38–1.65), respectively.


Risk factors for diabetic foot complications are highly prevalent; they have put these complications at a higher rate and warrant primary and secondary prevention programs to minimize morbidity and mortality in addition to economic impact of the complications. Other measurements, such as decompression of lower extremity nerves, should be considered among diabetic patients.

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