Objective: To assess the association between foot care by podiatric surgeons and outcomes of new diabetic foot ulceration (DFU) among patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) .

Methods: We used the 2015 and 2016 claim data from the United States Renal Data System to identify patients (≥ 40 years and on dialysis for ≥ 12 months) with a new diagnosis of DFU. The patients were stratified into intervention or control cohort based on whether they received any foot care by a podiatric surgeon within 12 months before the diagnosis of a new DFU. Patients were followed from the index DFU date until December 31, 2018. The study outcome was amputation-free survival (composite endpoint of mortality and major amputation) . Adjusted comparisons between preventive foot care and its association with outcomes were performed by Cox-regression analysis after propensity score matching for age, gender, race, hospitalizations, and Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) .

Results: Among the 51,362 ESRD patients included, 16,156 (31.5%) received podiatric care within 12 months before their index DFU. Compared to the control cohort, the intervention cohort was older, likely to be female (44% vs. 39%) , and more likely to have peripheral artery disease (64.2% vs. 49.5%) . The overall major amputation rate was 9.6% during study follow-up (intervention: 9.3% vs. control: 9.8%) . A Kaplan-Meier estimate indicated that foot care before index DFU was associated with increased amputation-free survival based on the Log Rank test (p<0.0001) . In addition, the multivariable analysis demonstrated that foot care prior to index DFU was associated with a lower risk of death or major amputation in both the unmatched (Hazard ratio [HR] 0.92, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 0.90, 0.93, p<0.0001) and matched cohorts (HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.79, 0.85, p<0.0001) .

Conclusion: Among patients with end stage renal disease, preventive podiatric care appears to improve amputation-free survival for DFU.


T.Tan: None. D.G.Armstrong: None. C.Chong: None. N.J.Hamilton-cotter: None. O.S.Kshirsagar: None. D.G.Marrero: None. D.J.Cotter: None.


National Institutes of Health (K23DK122126)

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