Patient Guide to Diabetic Neuropathy

Foot Ulcers Linked to Mortality in People with Diabetes

The holidays are less than three weeks away. Today is the day to look at the Entertaining section of to review the Thanksgiving menus and recipes. You’ll find ideas for large gatherings or a dinner for two.

Another much less fun part of holiday preparation is getting a flu shot. If you haven’t gotten your annual flu injection, call your primary care physician or visit a public health facility to find out where and when you can get vaccinated. It’s especially important for people with diabetes to get a flu shot.

Now, let’s get down to business. Get your coffee cup and start reading...

Foot Ulcers a Predictor in Diabetes Mortality
When you were diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor may have told you to examine your feet daily for ulcers or unhealed injuries. And when you visit your primary care physician or endocrinologist, one of the first examinations should be of your feet.

The importance of foot care in diabetes management was discussed at the 20th World Diabetes Congress in Montreal in October 2009, when Anthony J. Brown MD presented his research titled, “Foot ulcers independently linked to mortality in diabetes.”

The researchers examined 1,339 patients with diabetes who had a history of foot ulcers, 155 people with diabetes who did not have foot ulcers, and 63,632 participants who did not have diabetes. The study was conducted in Norway with a follow-up of 10 years for mortality.

The team found that the mortality rate for people with diabetes who had a history of foot ulcers was 40.0%, much higher than the 35.2% and 10.5% rates seen in the people with diabetes without foot ulcers and those without diabetes, respectively.

They concluded that patients with diabetic foot ulcers were 2.29 times more likely to die than the subjects without diabetes. The association between ulcer history and mortality did not change substantially after accounting for cardiovascular disease, micreoalbuminuria, hospital anxiety, and depression scores.

The researchers concluded that more research is needed to assess interventions to improve quality of care and enhance collaboration between specialist and primary care services.

To learn more, read our article about avoiding foot complications when you have diabetes.

FDA Issues Byetta Warning
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning for the type 2 diabetes drug exenatide (Byetta) because of possible kidney problems, including renal failure. Effective November 2, 2009, the FDA has ordered that the drug’s prescribing information be changed to alert patients to this side effect.

Byetta is a type 2 diabetes drug that helps lower blood sugar. People taking the medication should pay attention to changes in urine color, frequency of urination, or the amount of urine, as well as unexplained swelling of the hands or feet, fatigue, changes in appetite or digestion, or dull aching in the mid-to lower back. The most common side effects of Byetta include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which may contribute to the development of kidney malfunction.

To learn more about type 2 diabetes medications, please read our introduction to medications for type 2 diabetes.

Last updated on

Don't Miss Out! Get the FREE EndocrineWeb eNewsletter!

Sign up to receive treatment and research updates, news, and helpful tips on managing your condition.
close X