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Prevalence and characteristics of diabetic foot ulcerations in Western Sydney


Patients with diabetes are at high risk of developing foot ulcerations that can develop into non-healing wounds. Recent studies suggest that the lifetime risk of developing a diabetic foot ulcer is as high as 25%. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and characteristics of diabetic foot ulcerations (DFUs) at the Foot Wound Clinic at Westmead Hospital.


In 2011, 318 patients were extracted for analysis from the Westmead Hospital Foot Wound Database on new diabetic foot ulcerations. Data on demographics, socio-economic, co-morbidities, foot ulcer characteristics and treatment were recorded on a standardised form adapted from the Eurodiale studies. Patients with Type 2 DM and Type 1 DM in outpatient clinics were included in the study.


In total, 74.5% of patients were diabetics. Demographics of diabetic foot ulcerations were: male (66.2%), mean age 67 years (range: 19-95 years), low socio-economic status (mean ABS postcode score 969, SD 119). DFU characteristics were: cross sectional area of 684.1mm2, volume of 6.3cm3, 33% on the forefoot, 67.9% acute and 12.3% chronic. The University of Texas (U/T) foot classification was category 6: the ischaemic limb (61.5%); category 4A: neuropathic wounds (34.6%) and others (3.9%). Predominant U/T wound types: 29.4% 1A and 12.8% 1C.


Diabetic foot ulcers are prevalent in Western Sydney and are more likely to affect older males from a lower socioeconomic background. Understanding the other factors related to diabetic foot ulcers will assist the podiatrist in providing a more targeted management plan.

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Correspondence to Norafizah Haji Zaine.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zaine, N.H., Hitos, K., Fletcher, J. et al. Prevalence and characteristics of diabetic foot ulcerations in Western Sydney. J Foot Ankle Res 6 (Suppl 1), O13 (2013).

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