Author(s): Madanchi N, TabatabaeiMalazy O, Pajouhi M, Heshmat R, Larijani B,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) as the leading cause of lower limb amputation is one of the most important complications of diabetes mellitus (DM). Patient and physician's education plays a significant role in DFU prevention. While effective treatment and formulation of prevention guidelines for DFU require a thorough understanding of characteristics of DFU patients and their ulcers, there are reports that not only patients' but also physicians' information about these characteristics is inadequate. So we conducted this study to investigate these characteristics. METHODS: Necessary data was collected from medical archives of DFU patients admitted between 2002 and 2008 in two university hospitals. RESULTS: 873 patients were included. Mean age was 59.3 ± 11.2 years and most of the patients developed DFU in 5th and 6th decades of their life. 58.1\% were men. 28.8\% had family history of DM. Mean duration of DM was 172.2 months. Mean duration of DFU was 79.8 days. Only 14.4\% of the patients had Hemoglobin A1C < 7\%. 69.6\% of the patients had history of previous hospitalization due to DM complications. The most prevalent co-morbidities were renal, cardiovascular and ophthalmic ones. Most patients had "ischemic DFU" and DFU in their "right" limb. The most prevalent location of DFU was patients' toes, with most of them being in the big toe. 28.2\% of the patients underwent lower-limb amputations. The amputation rate in the hospital where the "multidisciplinary approach" has been used was lower (23.7\% vs. 30.1\%). CONCLUSIONS: Number of patients with DFU is increasing. DFU is most likely to develop in middle-aged diabetic patients with a long duration of DM and poor blood sugar control who have other co-morbidities of DM. Male patients are at more risk. Recurrence of DFU is a major point of concern which underscores the importance of patient education to prevent secondary ulcers. As a result, educating medical and nursing personnel, applying screening and prevention guidelines, and allocating more resources are of great importance regarding treatment of DFU patients. Application of the "multidisciplinary approach" can reduce the rate of amputations. Primary care physicians might be furnished with the information presented in the present study.
This article was published in J Diabetes Metab Disord
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research