Introduction: Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a chronic complication not desired in individuals with Diabetes Mellitus (DM). It reduces the productivity and economic power of affected persons. Identifying risk factors leading to development of DFU is of paramount importance in preventing its occurrence.
Objective: To identify risk factors for DFU in diabetes outpatient clinic of Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
Method: This was a cross-sectional study in which 296 consenting individuals with DM were enrolled. Interviewer-administered questionnaire utilized included history of previous ulcers, burning sensation, numbness, intermittent claudication, pin and needle sensation and visual impairment. Patient were assessed clinically with emphasis on foot examination. Anthropometric and biochemical measurements were also obtained. Data was analysed using SPSS version 25. P value ≤0.05 was considered significant.
Result: The mean age of participants was 60.58±11.3 years of which females were 61.8%. twenty-three (7.8%) had past history of DFU. Risk factors identified for development of DFU included visual impairment (63.2%), skin dryness (52%), inappropriate footwear (51.7%) pin and needle sensation (50.3%), numbness (39.4%), hair loss (32.8%), cracks (29.4%), burning sensation (24%), lower limb oedema (17.2%), dilated veins (6.4%), wasting of small muscles of the foot (5.7%), DVT (2.4%). Identified predictors for development of DFU includes duration of DM (P< 0.014), history of overweight/obesity (P< 0.035), inappropriate foot wear (P<0.05) and cracks (P<0.003) while glycaemic control was not statistically significant.
Discussion: DFU among participants is less than 10% however to prevent increasing incidence of this complication identified risk factors need to be curtailed. Leading predictors for development of DFU includes duration of diabetes >10 years, presence of cracks and inappropriate footwear.
Conclusion: Regular screening for DFU risk factors in our day to day practice is essential and inappropriate foot wear should be discouraged especially in patients with prolonged history of DM.