OBJECTIVE: To separately evaluate peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) and foot ulcer and amputation history in a diabetic foot risk classification to predict foot complications.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We evaluated 1,666 diabetic patients for 27.2 +/- 4.2 months. Patients underwent a detailed foot assessment and were followed at regular intervals. We used a modified version of the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot's (IWGDF's) risk classification to assess complications during the follow-up period.
RESULTS: There were more ulcerations, infections, amputations, and hospitalizations as risk group increased (chi(2) for trend P < 0.001). When risk category 2 (neuropathy and deformity and/or PAOD) was stratified by PAOD, there were more complications in PAOD patients (P < 0.01). When risk group 3 patients (ulceration or amputation history) were separately stratified, there were more complications in subjects with previous amputation (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: We propose a new risk classification that predicts future foot complications better than that currently used by the IWGDF.