Aims: To estimate the rate at which people with diabetes and a low risk of foot ulceration change diabetic foot ulceration risk status over time, and to estimate the rate of ulceration, amputation and death among this population.
Methods: We conducted an observational study of 10 421 people with diabetes attending foot screening in an outpatient setting in NHS Fife, UK, using routinely collected data from a national diabetes register, NHS SCI Diabetes. We estimated the proportion of people who changed risk status and the cumulative incidence of ulceration, amputation and death, respectively, among people with diabetes at low risk of diabetic foot ulceration at 2-year follow-up.
Results: At 2-year follow-up, 5.1% (95% CI 4.7, 5.6) of people with diabetes classified as low risk at their first visit had progressed to moderate risk. The cumulative incidence of ulceration, amputation and death was 0.4% (95% CI 0.3, 0.6), 0.1% (95% CI 0.1, 0.2) and 3.4% (95% CI 3.1, 3.8), respectively.
Conclusions: At 2-year follow-up, 5% of people at low risk of diabetic foot ulceration changed clinical risk status and <1% of people experienced foot ulceration or amputation. These findings provide information which will help to inform the current debate regarding optimal foot screening intervals.