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J Formos Med Assoc. 2000 Jan;99(1):5-10.

Foot complications in people with diabetes: a community-based study in Taiwan.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei.



This comparative cross-sectional and community-based study was aimed at defining foot complications in diabetic patients. These data have not yet been reported for Asian societies.


Of a population of 3,602 subjects aged 35 years or more in Chin-Shan, Taipei, 309 diabetic patients were identified. Two hundred and nineteen (71%) of those patients were compared to 100 individuals randomly selected for the nondiabetic control group in the same community.


Three diabetic patients underwent lower extremity amputation and four had skin ulcerations. Diabetic patients had a significantly higher prevalence of peripheral neuropathy (32.4% vs 16%), arterial insufficiency (12.6% vs 3.0%), and medial arterial calcification (13.6% vs 5.0%), when compared to the nondiabetic controls. The age and sex-adjusted rates of hallux valgus, loss of skin hair on the dorsum of the foot, tinea unguium, arterial insufficiency, medial artery calcification, and peripheral neuropathy were significantly higher in diabetic than nondiabetic subjects. Aging and hyperglycemia (> 140 mg/dL) increased the prevalence of foot complications in both groups. Foot complications were also remarkably associated with the duration of diabetes (p = 0.003).


This study shows that diabetes mellitus is associated with an increased likelihood of foot complications in this geographically defined Taiwanese population. Patient age and diabetic duration are associated with the significantly higher prevalence of foot complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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