Social Deprivation and Incident Diabetes-Related Foot Disease in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Population-Based Cohort Study
Research design and methods: A population-based, open retrospective cohort study, using The Health Improvement Network (01/01/2005-31/12/2019). Patients with type 2 diabetes, free of DFD at baseline, were stratified by Townsend deprivation index and the risk of developing DFD was calculated. DFD was defined as a composite of foot ulcer (FU), Charcot arthropathy, lower limb amputation (LLA), peripheral neuropathy (PN), peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and gangrene.
Results: 176,359 patients were eligible (56% men; aged 62.9±13.1years). After excluding 26,094 patients with DFD before/within 15 months of type 2 diabetes diagnosis, DFD was incidentally developed in 12.1% of study population during 3.27years (IQR:1.41-5.96). Patients in the most deprived Townsend quintile had increased risk of DFD compared to those in the least deprived (aHR:1.22, 95%CI:1.16-1.29) after adjusting for sex, age at type 2 diabetes diagnosis, ethnicity, smoking, BMI, HbA1c, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, retinopathy, eGFR, insulin, glucose/lipid-lowering medications and baseline foot risk. Patients in the most deprived Townsend quintile had higher risk of PN (aHR:1.18, 95%CI:1.11-1.25), FU (aHR:1.44, 95%CI:1.17-1.77), PVD (aHR:1.40, 95%CI:1.28-1.53) LLA (aHR:1.75, 95%CI:1.08-2.83) and gangrene (aHR:8.49, 95% CI:1.01-71.58) compared to those in the least.
Conclusion: Social deprivation is an independent risk factor for the development of DFD, PN, FU, PVD, LLA and gangrene in newly-diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes. Considering the high individual and economic burden of DFD, strategies targeting patients in socially deprived areas are needed to reduce health inequalities.