New Study Finds Younger Patients with Diabetes Experiencing Increased Hospitalization due to Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Hamilton et al. just published an article in Diabetes Care highlighting a disturbing trend previously discussed in this blog. In their comprehensive study spanning 24 years, Hamilton et al. compared the incidence of hospitalization in two temporally-distinct cohorts of patients with diabetes with and without diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs).  They found the overall incidence of DFU hospitalizations was increased over time. Just as concerning, this incidence was increased in younger patients in the more recent group. This mirrors findings by Geiss et al. who demonstrated a resurgence of Lower Extremity Amputations (LEAs) in middle-aged and younger adults with diabetes. Additionally, this trend toward younger patients experiencing DFUs was noted in a pending publication by Dr. O’Brien evaluating the combined value of the Semmes-Weinstein monofilament and the ETF128 in predicting DFUs. Overall, movement toward earlier diabetes diagnosis with its attendant complications appears to be emerging. Some speculation has tied this tendency to behavioral and lifestyle choices made by younger patients, thus highlighting the need for improved patient education and compliance with preventative care recommendations.