Diabetic Foot Risk Assessment among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes in Kenya
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Background: Screening for diabetic foot complications is often neglected, especially during routine and/or annual diabetes check-ups. We assessed the risk of diabetic foot complications among patients with type 2 diabetes in Kenya using the International Working Group on Diabetic Foot risk stratification guidelines to highlight the need for improved foot care.
Methods: We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study in Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kenya between July and October 2015. Seven hundred patients with type 2 diabetes were identified and 147 were systematically sampled. A trained podiatrist examined patients, and urine and blood samples were taken for biochemical tests and assessed by the investigating team.
Results: In total, 44(29.9%) men and 103(70.1%) women were sampled; 75(51.0%) were aged over 55 years, 113(76.9%) were overweight/obese, 117(79.6%) had poor glycaemic control and 125(85%) had never had their feet screened for complications. Thirty participants (20.4%) were categorised as being at high risk for developing diabetic foot complications while 54(36.7%) had moderate risk, 53(36.1%) had low risk and 10(6.8%) had no risk. Compared to other risk groups, those with moderate risk for developing diabetic foot problems had higher mean levels of glycated haemoglobin (9.4%), albumin-creatinine ratio (50.3) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (1.4 mmol/L) at presentation. No other differences in clinical and laboratory profiles were noted.
Conclusion: Our results show high rates of obesity, and poor glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes and 56.5% of patients are categorised as being a moderate-to-high risk for foot problems. This highlights the need for healthcare professionals and patients in Kenya to be sensitised regarding the importance of foot screening to prevent lower-extremity complications.