The silent overall burden of foot disease in a representative hospitalised population
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Authors: Lazzarini,P. A.;Hurn,S. E.;Kuys,S. S.;Kamp,M. C.;Ng,V.;Thomas,C.;Jen,S.;Wills,J.;Kinnear,E. M.;d’Emden,M. C.;Reed,L. F.
Publication: International wound journal
The aims of this study were to investigate the point prevalence, and associated independent factors, for foot disease (ulcers, infections and ischaemia) in a representative hospitalised population. We included 733 (83%) of 883 eligible adult inpatients across five representative Australian hospitals on one day. We collected an extensive range of self-reported characteristics from participants. We examined all participants to clinically diagnose foot disease (ulcers, infections and ischaemia) and amputation procedures. Overall, 72 participants (9.8%) [95% confidence interval (CI):7.2-11.3%] had foot disease. Foot ulcers, in 49 participants (6.7%), were independently associated with peripheral neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease, previous foot ulcers, trauma and past surgeon treatment (P < 0.05). Foot infections, in 24 (3.3%), were independently associated with previous foot ulcers, trauma and past surgeon treatment (P < 0.01). Ischaemia, in 33 (4.5%), was independently associated with older age, smokers and past surgeon treatment (P < 0.01). Amputation procedures, in 14 (1.9%), were independently associated with foot infections (P < 0.01). We found that one in every ten inpatients had foot disease, and less than half of those had diabetes. After adjusting for diabetes, factors linked with foot disease were similar to those identified in diabetes-related literature. The overall inpatient foot disease burden is similar in size to well-known medical conditions and should receive similar attention.