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Rays. 1997 Oct-Dec;22(4):511-23.

The diabetic foot: epidemiology.

[Article in English, Italian]

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Istituto di Medicina Interna e Geriatria, Università Cattolica del S.Cuore, Policlinico A.Gemelli, Roma, Italy.


The epidemiology of the diabetic foot is still unknown because this heterogeneous pathologic condition is non uniformly classified and described. Lower limb peripheral vascular disease has a preferential distal location strongly associated with the classical factors of cardiovascular risk. Ulcers occur in 15% of diabetics and 6-20% of all hospitalized diabetic patients are affected by ulcers of the foot. There is a predictive feature of the severity of the ulcer in relation to its location. In the USA, ischemia-related amputations are about 200 per million per year for non diabetics as against 3900 per million for diabetics; furthermore the incidence of a second amputation rises to 51% 5 years after first amputation. Risk factors for amputation are: smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia, elderly age, glycosylated hemoglobin levels. Although mortality has decreased in the last 50 years, the diabetic foot is still a huge economic problem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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