Disparities in preventative diabetic foot examination

Sarah Ali Fermawi, Jeffrey P. Tolson, Shannon M. Knapp, David Marrero, Wei Zhou, David G Armstrong, Tze Woei Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to assess the overall differences in the standard of preventive foot care for patients at risk of diabetic foot ulceration and to identify specific demographic factors affecting these health care practices, including race and ethnicity. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data for 2011 to 2018 were analyzed. Participants (20 years and older) with diabetes were categorized as White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and others (including multiracial participants) based on self-reported race and ethnicity. The primary outcome was foot examination over the past year administered by a medical professional. Logistic regression was performed to examine the effects of race and ethnicity on the annual diabetic foot examination, controlling for age (65 years and older), gender, and health insurance status. Among the 2,836 participants included in the study (weighted percentage: 61.1% were White, 13.9% were Black, 15.1% were Hispanic, 5.4% were Asian, and 4.5% were other), 2,018 (weighted percentage: 71.6%) received annual diabetic foot examination over the past year. Hispanic participants (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.685; 95% CI, 0.52–0.90) were significantly less likely than White participants to receive an annual foot examination (Black participants: aOR = 1.11; 95% CI, 0.83–1.49; Asian participants: aOR = 0.80; 95% CI, 0.60–1.07; other participants: aOR = 0.66; 95% CI, 0.40–1.10). Factors associated with receipt of foot examination were age 65 years or older (aOR = 1.42; 95% CI, 1.05–1.92) and having health insurance (aOR = 3.02; 95% CI, 2.27–4.03). Our findings suggest that Hispanic adults with diabetes are receiving disproportionately lower rates of preventive foot care compared with their White counterparts. This significant variation in the standard of care for individuals with diabetes reflects the need to further identify factors driving the disparities in preventive foot care services among racial and ethnic minority groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-89
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Vascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diabetes preventative care
  • Diabetic care disparities
  • Diabetic foot care
  • Diabetic foot examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery


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