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The development and validation of a multivariable prognostic model to predict foot ulceration in diabetes using a systematic review and individual patient data meta-analyses

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F. Crawford, G. Cezard, M. Chappell, The PODUS Group

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Aims: Diabetes guidelines recommend screening for the risk of foot ulceration but vary substantially in the underlying evidence base. Our purpose was to derive and validate a prognostic model of independent risk factors for foot ulceration in diabetes using all available individual patient data from cohort studies conducted worldwide.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta‐analysis of individual patient data from 10 cohort studies of risk factors in the prediction of foot ulceration in diabetes. Predictors were selected for plausibility, availability and low heterogeneity. Logistic regression produced adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for foot ulceration by ulceration history, monofilament insensitivity, any absent pedal pulse, age, sex and diabetes duration.

Results: The 10 studies contained data from 16 385 participants. A history of foot ulceration produced the largest OR [6.59 (95% CI 2.49 to 17.45)], insensitivity to a 10 g monofilament [3.18 (95% CI 2.65 to 3.82)] and any absent pedal pulse [1.97 (95% CI 1.62 to 2.39)] were consistently, independently predictive. Combining three predictors produced sensitivities between 90.0% (95% CI 69.9% to 97.2%) and 95.3% (95% CI 84.5% to 98.7%); the corresponding specificities were between 12.1% (95% CI 8.2% to 17.3%) and 63.9% (95% CI 61.1% to 66.6%).

Conclusions: This prognostic model of only three risk factors, a history of foot ulceration, an inability to feel a 10 g monofilament and the absence of any pedal pulse, compares favourably with more complex approaches to foot risk assessment recommended in clinical diabetes guidelines.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1480-1493
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number11
Early online date22 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

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