Diabetic neuropathy, foot ulceration, peripheral vascular disease and potential risk factors among patients with diabetes in Bahrain: a nationwide primary care diabetes clinic-based study

Faisal Al-Mahroos, Khaldoon Al-Roomi
Annals of Saudi Medicine 2007, 27 (1): 25-31

BACKGROUND: Although epidemiological studies have persistently shown a high prevalence of diabetes in Arabs, the control of diabetes is still poor and complications of diabetes are common. We examined the prevalence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DN), neuropathic foot ulceration (FU) and peripheral vascular disease (PVD), and potential risk factors for these complications among patients attending primary care diabetes clinics in Bahrain.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We studied 1477 diabetic patients (Type 2 diabetes 93%); to, including 635 men and 842 women, with ages ranging from 18-75 years in a cross-sectional study. The main predictor variables were demographic and clinical data, including assessment of foot and blood parameters.

RESULTS: Mean age of the patients and duration of diabetes were 57.3 +/- 6.32 and 9.5 +/- 8.4 years, respectively. DN was present in 36.6% of the population, FU in 5.9%, and PVD in 11.8%. Diabetic patients with neuropathy were older than patients without neuropathy (P=0.001) and had had diabetes longer (P=0.002). Diabetic patients with foot ulcers had more severe neuropathy and higher vibration perception thresholds values than patients without foot ulcers (P<0.05). Older age, poor glycemic control, longer duration of diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels, current smoking, obesity defined by body mass index, large waist circumference, elevated triglycerides levels and hypertension but not gender, were significant risk factors for DN in both the univariate and the multivariate analyses (P< 0.05). DN and PVD also remained significant risk factors for foot ulceration in the multiple logistic regression analysis.

CONCLUSION: Rates of DN and PVD are high among diabetic patients in Bahrain. Implementation of strategies for prevention, early detection, and appropriate treatment at the primary health care level are urgently needed.

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