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Men at Higher Risk of Diabetic Complications

Posted on Nov 17, 2012

A recent study published in Endocrine says that men should be considered for aggressive treatment for foot complications associated with diabetes. It indicates that men may be a big predictor for diabetic foot outcomes, alongside the well-characterized risk factors for diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease.

One of the researchers, Maria Candida Ribeiro Parisi from the University of Campinias in Brazil, says, "The difference in gender is attributable to better wound care in women, as men are more commonly involved in heavy physical work activities and deal with more social pressure to keep providing the family income."

The researchers also say that absenteeism is higher among men, causing ulcerations to take longer to recover.

Reviewing medical records for 496 patients with a diagnosis or risk factors for diabetic foot, this is how the numbers broke down:

  • 94 percent had Type 2 diabetes
  • 48.6 percent were male
  • Average diabetes duration was 16.8 years
  • 80.8 percent were treated with insulin
  • 67.3 percent also used oral drugs

At the last foot clinic visit,

  • 45.9 percent of patients had diabetic foot deformity
  • 25.3 percent had foot ulceration
  • 12.9 percent had undergone amputation
  • 67.2 percent of patients had no present or past history of ulceration or amputation
  • 92.9 percent had diabetic neuropathy
  • 30 percent had neuro-ischemic disease
  • 7.1 percent had only ischemic disease

It was found that patients with neuro-ischemic symptoms or neuropathy along were significantly more likely than patients with only ischemic symptoms to have foot deformity, regardless of other factors (age, gender, and diabetes type and duration).

Ulceration was a lot more common in men than women, and male gender was the only significant risk factor for ulceration in multivariate analysis. Amputation was also a lot more common in men than women.

Parisi and the researchers concluded by saying, "We thus believe that older men, presenting combined risk factors, should be a group receiving more special attention and aggressive treatment in the foot clinic, due to their potentially worse evolution."

At Fixing Feet Institute, our Arizona foot care doctors take special care to diagnose and treat foot and leg ailments for patients with diabetes. If you are a diabetic, contact Fixing Feet Institute in Surprise, AZ to schedule an appointment by calling 623-584-5556, or e-mail us at [email protected].

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Dr. Peyman A. Elison
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Founder and Managing Partner of Fixing Feet Institute