More education needed for people at risk of diabetic foot following organ transplantation

The risk factors for developing diabetic foot (DF) following organ transplantation have been identified in new research.

A study of 57 people with diabetes set out to identify the incidence and risk factors of DF following pancreas or kidney/pancreas transplantation.

Diabetic foot can develop due to several factors including peripheral arterial disease (PAD), diabetic neuropathy and inappropriate diabetic foot prevention.

Researchers in the Czech Republic studied the group for up to 50 months following organ transplantation and found a number of factors likely to influence DF development, including organ function, presence of late complications, PAD, history of DF, levels of physical activity before and after transplantation, patient education and standards of DF prevention.

However, the only factors significantly associated with DF during the post-transplant period were PAD, deformities and increased leisure-time physical activity.

The study found that DF developed in 31.6% of the study participants after organ transplantation within 11 months on average.

The team concluded: “Incidence of DF was relatively high, affecting almost 1/3 of pancreas and kidney/pancreas recipients. The predominant risk factors were: presence of PAD, foot deformities and higher leisure-time physical activity before transplantation.

“Therefore, we recommend a programme involving more detailed vascular and physical examinations and more intensive education focusing on physical activity and DF prevention in at-risk patients before transplantation.”

The study, by a team from Charles University and the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in the Czech Republic, can be viewed here.

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