Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to examine the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the hospitalization rates for diabetic foot ulcer (DFU), osteomyelitis and lower limb revascularization procedure in people with DFU.
Methods: This nationwide retrospective cohort study included hospital data on all people hospitalized in France for diabetes in weeks 2-43 in 2020, including the COVID-19 lockdown period, compared to same period in 2019.
Results: The number of hospitalizations for DFU decreased significantly in weeks 12-19 (during the lockdown) (p < 10-4 ). Hospitalization for foot osteomyelitis also decreased significantly in weeks 12-19 (p < 10-4 ). The trend was the same for lower limb amputations and revascularizations associated with DFU or amputation.
Conclusions/interpretation: The marked drop in hospitalization rates for DFU, osteomyelitis and lower limb revascularization procedures in people with DFU observed in France during the lockdown period suggests that COVID-19 was a barrier to DFU care, and may illustrate the combined deleterious effects of hospital overload and changes in health-related behaviour.
Keywords: COVID-19; diabetes complications; diabetes foot ulcers; hospital data; lockdown; lower limb amputations; osteomyelitis.
© 2021 Diabetes UK.