Disparities in outcomes of patients admitted with diabetic foot infections

Tze Woei Tan, Chia Ding Shih, Kirsten C. Concha-Moore, Muhanad M. Diri, Bo Hu, David Marrero, Wei Zhou, David G Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Objective :The purpose of this study was to evaluate the disparities in the outcomes of White, African American (AA) and non-AA minority (Hispanics and Native Americans (NA)), patients admitted in the hospitals with diabetic foot infections (DFIs). Research design and methods: The HCUP-Nationwide Inpatient Sample (2002 to 2015) was queried to identify patients who were admitted to the hospital for management of DFI using ICD-9 codes. Outcomes evaluated included minor and major amputations, open or endovascular revascularization, and hospital length of stay (LOS). Incidence for amputation and open or endovascular revascularization were evaluated over the study period. Multivariable regression analyses were performed to assess the association between race/ethnicity and outcomes. Results: There were 150,701 admissions for DFI, including 98,361 Whites, 24,583 AAs, 24,472 Hispanics, and 1,654 Native Americans (NAs) in the study cohort. Overall, 45,278 (30%) underwent a minor amputation, 9,039 (6%) underwent a major amputation, 3,151 underwent an open bypass, and 8,689 had an endovascular procedure. There was a decreasing incidence in major amputations and an increasing incidence of minor amputations over the study period (P < .05). The risks for major amputation were significantly higher (all p<0.05) for AA (OR 1.4, 95%CI 1.4,1.5), Hispanic (OR 1.3, 95%CI 1.3,1.4), and NA (OR 1.5, 95%CI 1.2,1.8) patients with DFIs compared to White patients. Hispanics (OR 1.3, 95%CI 1.2,1.5) and AAs (OR 1.2, 95%CI 1.1,1.4) were more likely to receive endovascular intervention or open bypass than Whites (all p<0.05). NA patients with DFI were less likely to receive a revascularization procedure (OR 0.6, 95%CI 0.3, 0.9, p = 0.03) than Whites. The mean hospital length of stay (LOS) was significantly longer for AAs (9.2 days) and Hispanics (8.6 days) with DFIs compared to Whites (8.1 days, p<0.001). Conclusion: Despite a consistent incidence reduction of amputation over the past decade, racial and ethnic minorities including African American, Hispanic, and Native American patients admitted to hospitals with DFIs have a consistently significantly higher risk of major amputation and longer hospital length of stay than their White counterparts. Native Americans were less likely to receive revascularization procedures compared to other minorities despite exhibiting an elevated risk of an amputation. Further study is required to address and limit racial and ethnic disparities and to further promote equity in the treatment and outcomes of these at-risk patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0211481
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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