Five-year mortality in patients with diabetic foot ulcer during 2009-2010 was lower than expected

Diabetes Metab. 2020 Jun;46(3):230-235. doi: 10.1016/j.diabet.2019.04.010. Epub 2019 Aug 7.


Aim: Mortality rates are decreasing in patients with diabetes. However, as this observation also concerns patients with diabetic foot ulcer (DFU), additional data are needed. For this reason, our study evaluated the 5-year mortality rate in patients with DFU during 2009-2010 and identified risk factors associated with mortality.

Methods: Consecutive patients who attended a clinic for new DFU during 2009-2010 were followed until healing and at 1 year. Data on mortality were collected at year 5. Multivariate Cox proportional-hazards model was used to identify mortality risk factors.

Results: A total of 347 patients were included: mean age was 65±12 years, diabetes duration was 16 [10; 27] years; 13% were on dialysis; and 7% had an organ transplant. At 5 years, 49 patients (14%) were considered lost to follow-up. Total mortality rate at 5 years was 35%, and 16% in patients with neuropathy. On multivariate analyses, mortality was positively associated with: age [hazard ratio (HR): 1.05 (1.03-1.07), P<0.0001]; duration of diabetes [HR: 1.02 (1.001-1.03], P=0.03]; PEDIS perfusion grade 2 vs. 1 [HR: 2.35 (1.28-4.29), P=0.006)]; PEDIS perfusion grade 3 vs. 1 [HR: 3.14 (1.58-6.24), P=0.001); and ulcer duration at year 1 [HR 2.09 (1.35-3.22), P=0.0009].

Conclusion: Mortality rates were not as high as expected despite the large number of comorbidities, suggesting that progress has been made in the health management of these patients. In particular, patients with neuropathic foot ulcer had a survival rate of 84% at 5 years.

Keywords: Diabetes; Foot; Mortality; Ulcer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't