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BMC Fam Pract. 2007 Oct 10;8:59.

Prevalence of risk factors for diabetic foot complications.

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  • 1Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, PO Box 17666, UAE.



Foot complications are common in diabetic patients and are considered one of the most expensive diabetes (DM) complications to treat. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for foot complications among diabetic patients in Al-Ain district, United Arab Emirates (UAE).


The study was part of a general cross-sectional survey carried out to assess the prevalence of DM complications in Al-Ain district, UAE. A sample of 513 diabetic patients with a mean age of 53 years (SD: +/- 13) were randomly selected during 2003/2004. All completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire and underwent medical assessment including foot examination and assessment of presence of peripheral neuropathy (PN) and peripheral vascular disease (PVD).


Forty nine percent of the study populations were diagnosed to have DM without presenting with symptoms of diabetes and 35% had hypertension. The majority (86%) had type 2 DM. Of the total sample, 39% (95% CI: 35.1-43.7%) had PN and 12% (95% CI: 8.8-14.4%) had PVD. There were no cases of amputation and only one case had previous history of lower extremity ulceration. Significant risk factors for PN and PVD were: male gender, poor level of education, UAE nationality, increased duration of diabetes, type 2 DM, presence of hypertension and microalbuminuria (MA).


Despite the low prevalence of foot ulceration and amputation among the study population, nevertheless, a substantial proportion had potential risk factors for foot complications.

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