Risk Factors for Hospital Re-admission for Diabetes Related Foot Disease: A Prospective Cohort Study

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2023 Aug;66(2):221-228. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2023.05.016. Epub 2023 May 16.


Objective: Diabetes related foot disease (DFD) is a common reason for admission to hospital, but the predictive factors for repeat admission are poorly defined. The primary aim of this study was to identify rates and predictive factors for DFD related hospital re-admission.

Methods: Patients admitted to hospital for treatment of DFD at a single regional centre were recruited prospectively between January 2020 and December 2020. Participants were followed for 12 months to evaluate the primary outcome of hospital re-admission. The relationship between predictive factors and re-admission were examined using non-parametric statistical tests and Cox proportional hazard analyses.

Results: The median age of the 190 participants was 64.9 (standard deviation 13.3) years and 68.4% were male. Forty-one participants (21.6%) identified themselves as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. One hundred participants (52.6%) were re-admitted to hospital at least once over 12 months. The commonest reason for re-admission was for treatment of foot infection (84.0% of first re-admission). Absent pedal pulses (unadjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.90; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26 - 2.85), loss of protective sensation (LOPS) (unadjusted HR 1.98; 95% CI 1.08 - 3.62), and male sex (unadjusted HR 1.62; 95% CI 1.03 - 2.54) increased the risk of re-admission. After risk adjustment, only absence of pedal pulses (HR 1.92, 95% CI 1.27 - 2.91) and LOPS (HR 2.02, 95% CI 1.09 - 3.74) significantly increased the risk of re-admission.

Conclusion: Over 50% of patients admitted to hospital for treatment of DFD are re-admitted within one year. Patients with absent pedal pulses and those with LOPS are twice as likely to be re-admitted.

Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; Diabetic foot; Peripheral artery disease; Re-admissions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / therapy
  • Female
  • Foot Diseases*
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors