To assess the prevalence of risk factors for obstructive sleep apnoea in people with diabetic foot ulcers and to determine whether this risk predicts diabetic foot ulcer healing.
We studied 94 consecutive people (69% men) with diabetic foot ulcers (Type 2 diabetes, n=66, Type 1 diabetes, n=28) attending a university hospital foot unit. All participants were screened for obstructive sleep apnoea using the STOP-BANG questionnaire, with a score ≥4 identifying high risk of obstructive sleep apnoea. The primary outcome was poor diabetic foot ulcer healing, defined as diabetic foot ulcer recurrence (diabetic foot ulcers which healed and re-ulcerated in same anatomical position) and diabetic foot ulcer persistence (no evidence of healing on clinical examination). All participants were evaluated at 12 months.
Of the 94 participants, 60 (64%) had a STOP-BANG score ≥4. Over 12 months, 27 participants with a score ≥4 had poor diabetic foot ulcer healing as compared to seven with a score <4 (45% vs 20.5%; P=0.025). A STOP-BANG score ≥4 significantly increased the relative risk of poor healing more than twofold, independently of other risk factors in multivariate analyses.
There is a high prevalence of features and risk of obstructive sleep apnoea in people with diabetic foot ulcers. A STOP-BANG score ≥4 predicts poor diabetic foot ulcer healing. Obstructive sleep apnoea may be a potential, modifiable risk factor/treatment target to improve diabetic foot ulcer outcomes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.