The North-West Diabetes Foot Care Study
Caroline A. Abbott, PHD1, Adam P. Garrow, PHD2, Anne L. Carrington, PHD1, Julie Morris, PHD3, Ernest R. Van Ross, FRCP2 and Andrew J. Boulton, MD1
1 Department of Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, University of Manchester, Manchester, U.K 2 Disablement Services Centre, Withington Hospital, Manchester, U.K 3 Department of Medical Statistics, Withington Hospital, Manchester, U.K
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Caroline A. Abbott, Diabetes Foot Clinic, Disablement Services Centre, Withington Hospital, Cavendish Road, Manchester, M20 1LB, U.K. E-mail: email@example.com
OBJECTIVETo determine 1) foot ulcer rates for European, South-Asian, and African-Caribbean diabetic patients in the U.K and 2) the contribution of neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) differences to altered ulcer risk between the groups.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSIn this U.K. populationbased study, we screened 15,692 type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients in the community health care setting for foot ulcers, foot deformities, neuropathy, and PAD plus other characteristics. In total, 13,409 were European (85.5%), 1,866 were South Asian (11.9%), and 371 were African Caribbean (2.4%).
RESULTSThe age-adjusted prevalence of diabetic foot ulcers (past or present) for Europeans, South Asians, and African Caribbeans was 5.5, 1.8, and 2.7%, respectively (P < 0.0001). Asians and African Caribbeans had less neuropathy, PAD, and foot deformities than Europeans (P = 0.003). The unadjusted risk of ulcer (odds ratio [OR]) for Asians versus Europeans was 0.29 (95% CI 0.200.41) (P < 0.0001). PAD, neuropathy, foot deformities, and insulin use attenuated the age-adjusted OR from 0.32 to 0.52 (0.350.76) (P < 0.0001). African-Caribbean versus European ulcer risk in males was attenuated from 0.60 to 0.71 by vibration sensation.
CONCLUSIONSSouth Asians with diabetes in the U.K. have about one-third the risk of foot ulcers of Europeans. The lower levels of PAD, neuropathy, insulin usage, and foot deformities of the Asians account for approximately half of this reduced foot ulcer risk. Lower neuropathy is the main contributor to the reduced African-Caribbean ulcer rate, particularly in men. The reasons for these ethnic differences warrant further investigation.
Abbreviations: NWDFCS, North-West Diabetes Foot Care Study PAD, peripheral arterial disease