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Queensland diabetic foot hospitalisations (2005-10): in what state is our foot hospital problem?


Diabetes foot complications are a leading cause of overall avoidable hospital admissions. Since 2006, the Queensland Diabetes Clinical Network has implemented programs aimed at reducing diabetes-related hospitalisation. The aim of this retrospective observational study was to determine the incidence of diabetes foot-related hospital admissions in Queensland from 2005 to 2010.


Data on all primary diabetes foot-related admissions in Queensland from 2005-2010 was obtained using diabetes foot-related ICD-10-AM (hospital discharge) codes. Queensland diabetes foot-related admission incidences were calculated using general population data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Furthermore, diabetes foot-related sub-group admissions were analysed. Chi-squared tests were used to assess changes in admissions over time.


Overall, 24,917 diabetes foot-related admissions occurred, resulting in the use of 260,085 bed days or 1.4% of all available Queensland hospital bed days (18,352,152). The primary reasons for these admissions were foot ulcers (49.8%), cellulitis (20.7%), peripheral vascular disease (17.8%) and osteomyelitis (3.8%). The diabetes foot-related admission incidence among the general population (per 100,000) reduced by 22% (103.0 in 2005, to 80.7 in 2010, p < 0.001); bed days decreased by 18% (1,099 to 904, p < 0.001).


Diabetes foot complications appear to be the primary reason for 1.4 out of every 100 hospital beds used in Queensland. There has been a significant reduction in the incidence of diabetes foot-related admissions in Queensland between 2005 and 2010. This decrease has coincided with a corresponding decrease in amputations and the implementation of several diabetes foot clinical programs throughout Queensland.

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Correspondence to Peter A Lazzarini.

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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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Lazzarini, P.A., O’Rourke, S.R., Russell, A.W. et al. Queensland diabetic foot hospitalisations (2005-10): in what state is our foot hospital problem?. J Foot Ankle Res 6 (Suppl 1), P8 (2013).

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