Neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage is not associated with wound healing in diabetic foot ulcer patients treated in a multidisciplinary setting

J Surg Res. 2018 Apr;224:102-111. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2017.11.063. Epub 2017 Dec 22.


Background: Socioeconomic deprivation is associated with poor glycemic control and higher hospital admission rates in patients with diabetes. We sought to quantify the effects of neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation on wound healing among a cohort of patients with diabetic foot ulceration (DFU) treated in a multidisciplinary setting.

Methods: Socioeconomic disadvantage was calculated for all patients using the area deprivation index (ADI) stratified by quartile (from ADI-0: least through ADI-3: most). Predictors of wound healing were assessed using Cox proportional hazards models accounting for patient demographics, wound characteristics, and ADI category.

Results: Six hundred twenty-one wounds were evaluated, including 59% ADI-0, 7% ADI-1, 12% ADI-2, and 22% ADI-3. After accounting for patient demographics and wound characteristics, the likelihood of wound healing was similar between groups (ADI-3 versus ADI-0: hazards ratio [HR] 1.03 [95% confidence interval 0.76-1.41]). Independent predictors of poor wound healing included peripheral arterial disease (HR 0.75), worse wound stage (stage 4: HR 0.48), larger wound area (HR 0.99), and partially dependent functional status (HR 0.45) (all, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: In a multidisciplinary setting, wound healing was largely dependent on wound characteristics and vascular status rather than patient demographics or neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage. Use of a multidisciplinary approach to the management of DFU may overcome the negative effects of socioeconomic disadvantage frequently described in the diabetic population.

Keywords: Area deprivation index; Diabetic foot ulcer; Socioeconomic disadvantage; Wound healing.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetic Foot / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Insurance, Health
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Social Class
  • Wound Healing*
  • Young Adult