Health-economic consequences of diabetic foot lesions

Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Aug 1;39 Suppl 2:S132-9. doi: 10.1086/383275.


Diabetic foot complications result in huge costs for both society and the individual patients. Few reports on the health-economic consequences of diabetic foot infections have been published. In studies considering a wide societal perspective, costs of antibiotics were relatively low, whereas total costs for topical treatment were high relative to the total costs of foot infections. Total direct costs for healing of infected ulcers not requiring amputation are approximately 17,500 dollars (in 1998 US dollars), whereas the costs for lower-extremity amputations are approximately 30,000 dollars-33,500 dollars depending on the level of amputation. Prevention of foot ulcers and amputations by various methods, including patient education, proper footwear, and foot care, in patients at risk is cost effective or even cost saving. Awareness of the potential influence of reimbursement systems on prevention, management, and outcomes of diabetic foot lesions has increased. Despite methodological obstacles, modeling studies are needed in future health-economic evaluations to determine the cost effectiveness of various strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Amputation / economics
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Diabetic Foot / complications*
  • Diabetic Foot / economics*
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans