TEMPLE, Tex., June 2 — Diabetics who develop foot infections have a 55-fold greater risk of being hospitalized than diabetics without foot infections and a 154-fold higher risk of losing the affected foot, found a multicenter study.
In the results of a longitudinal study of 1,666 patients with diabetes, published in the June issue of Diabetes Care, Lawrence A. Lavery, D.P.M., M.P.H., of the Texas A&M Health Science Center here, and colleagues at other centers, found that the rate of foot infection was 9.1% over two years.
All the patients' infections but one was from a penetrating wound or ulcer. The infections were often the first episode in a downward spiral leading to the loss of the foot itself.
The investigators designed the study to get a prospective overview of risk factors for foot infection in a cohort of people. said David G. Armstrong, D.P.M., Ph.D., a co-author at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, Ill. "It is infection that is the spark that led to nearly all amputations in this study."