Comparison of risk-factors for foot problems in diabetic-patients attending teaching hospital outpatient clinics in four different European states
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Diabetic medicine. - Chichester
, p. 709-713
University of Antwerp
Although the St Vincent declaration calls for common European action in order to reduce major amputations, the differences in the incidence of foot problems and the prevalence of risk factors has not been fully investigated. We have examined the risk factors for foot ulceration and amputation in 278 consecutive patients (mean age 50.4 years, range 18-79 years) attending outpatient clinics of four teaching hospitals: Athens, Manchester, Rome, and Antwerp. There were no differences in age, weight or sex among the four groups but the percentage of patients with Type 1 diabetes was higher in Rome and Antwerp. Patients in Rome and Antwerp also had a longer duration of diabetes compared to Athens and Manchester. Mean vibration perception threshold was similar in all groups. No differences were found in the number of patients with moderate or severe clinical neuropathy (neuropathy disability score > 5), severe sensory loss (VPT > 25 V), and limited joint mobility. Symptomatic peripheral vascular disease was more frequent in Antwerp (p < 0.05) compared to the other three centres and foot ulceration in Rome compared to Manchester (p < 0.05). The number of smokers or ex-smokers and the average alcohol consumption were similar in all centres. We conclude that, despite a few differences mainly in Type 1 diabetic patients, there are no major differences in the risk factors for foot ulceration and that, therefore, similar strategies for the prevention of foot problems may be equally successful in different European countries.