Study reveals high amputation risk of people admitted to hospital with diabetic foot ulcer

Research into the outcomes for people admitted with diabetic foot ulcer to hospitals which serve an ethnically diverse population has revealed the high amputation risk – 44 per cent – among its mostly Black and/or Hispanic patients.

A team from Montefiore Medical Center in New York set out to investigate the amputation rates and outcomes for those admitted with DFU, as the condition is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality which disproportionately impacts underserved populations.

The other key findings were:

  • Male sex, low BMI, and smoking were associated with a higher risk of amputation.
  • Elevated inflammatory markers were associated with a higher risk of amputation.
  • The readmission rate for DFU was 55 per cent after one year of the index admission.
  • Length of stay in patients with diabetes was longer for those admitted with a DFU.

The team looked at medical records from three hospitals between 2016 and 2021 and found that among 650 patients admitted for DFU, 88 per cent self-identified as non-White race.

The study reported: “Male sex (OR 0.62), low BMI (OR 0.98), and history of smoking (OR 1.45) were significantly associated with amputation during the study period. Higher erythrocyte sedimentation rate (OR 1.01), C-reactive protein (OR 1.05), white blood cells (OR 1.11), and low albumin (OR 0.41) were found to be significantly associated with amputation versus no amputation during admission. The amputation risk during the index admission for DFU was 44%.”

The research team concluded: “Many of these patients required multi-disciplinary care and intravenous antibiotic therapy, requiring a longer length of stay and a high rate of readmission.”

Read the study in full: Demographic and Laboratory Variables Associated with Amputations for Inpatients with Diabetic Foot Ulcers

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