Risk for all-cause mortality higher in patients with diabetic foot ulcers

Patients with diabetic foot ulcers have an excess risk for all-cause mortality compared with patients with diabetes without a history of foot ulcers. This risk is partly due to a greater burden of cardiovascular disease, according recent study results.

Researchers identified eight studies reporting on the associations of diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality. Data were obtained on incident events of all-cause mortality, fatal myocardial infarction and fatal stroke.

Overall, 3,619 events of all-cause mortality occurred during 81,116 person-years of follow-up. Study results showed that DFU was associated with an increased risk for all-cause mortality, fatal myocardial infarction and fatal stroke, while CVD mortality accounted for a similar proportion of deaths in DFU and non-DFU patients.

“If this result is validated in other studies, strategies should evaluate the role of further aggressive CVD risk modification and ulcer prevention in those with DFU,” the researchers concluded.

Brownrigg JRW. Diabetologia. 2012;55:2906-2912.

Disclosure: The researchers had no relevant financial disclosures.

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