Diabetic foot disease and foot care in a Caribbean community

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2002 Apr;56(1):35-40. doi: 10.1016/s0168-8227(01)00343-6.


We estimated the prevalence of foot symptoms and disease and evaluated foot care practices in a primary care based sample including 2106 people with diabetes in Trinidad. Symptoms of neuropathy were reported by 1030 (49%), previous foot ulceration by 257 (12%), and amputation by 92 (4%). Previous foot ulceration was associated with longer duration of diabetes (odds ratio 1.05, (95% CI 1.04-1.06) per year) and greater severity of neuropathy symptoms (1.17 (1.10-1.24) per unit increase in score). A history of foot ulceration gave relative odds of amputation of 16.3 (8.1-32.9). In those with previous foot ulceration, 120 (47%) went barefoot in the home, and 44 (17%) went barefoot outside the house. Overall, 1491 (71%) subjects reported they cut their toenails themselves, help was provided by a friend or relative to 584 (28%) and by a nurse or chiropodist to 13 ( < 1%). Most patients (1320, 63%) reported that they would treat a cut or blister on the foot themselves, while only 650 (31%) would attend for health care. Diabetic foot disease is common but care practices predispose to foot injury. Implementation of a strategy to improve care of the feet is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amputation / statistics & numerical data
  • Diabetic Foot / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Foot Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Recurrence
  • Self Care
  • Trinidad and Tobago / epidemiology