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The Charcot Foot: An Emerging Public Health Problem for African Diabetes Patients

Abbas, Zulfiqarali G, Lutale, JK, FORMOSA, Cynthia, GATT, Alfred and CHOCKALINGAM, Nachiappan (2021) The Charcot Foot: An Emerging Public Health Problem for African Diabetes Patients. The international journal of lower extremity wounds. ISSN 1552-6941

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Abstract or description

Background: Although the awareness, diagnosis, management of the complications associated with diabetes have improved in African countries over the past decade, surveillance activities in Tanzania and anecdotal reports from other African countries have suggested an increased prevalence of Charcot Neuroarthropathy (CN) over the past few years.

Aim: To characterize the epidemiology and the clinical burden of CN in a large diabetes population in Tanzania, and to evaluate outcomes of persons with the condition.

Methods: This was a prospective analytic cohort study conducted between January 2013 through December 2015. Following informed consent, patients were followed at the outpatient clinic. Detailed clinical assessments and documented presence of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), macrovascular disease and microvascular disease were recorded. Education and counselling were part of the follow-up program.

Results: 3,271 ulcerations were presented at the clinic during the 3-year study period. 571 (18%) met the case definition for CN; all patients had Type 2 diabetes. The prevalence for each of the years 2013, 2014, and 2015 was 19/1192 (1.6%), 209/1044 (20%), and 343/1035 (34%), respectively; the increases in the slope of the trendline was statistically significant (p<0.001).

Conclusion: The prevalence of CN is increasing in the Tanzanian diabetes patient population, and is strongly associated with neuropathy. CN can lead to severe deformity, disability, and amputation. Due to the risk of limb amputation, patients with diabetes must seek immediate care if signs or symptoms appear and avoid delay in seeking medical attention. Early diagnosis of CN by caregivers is extremely important for successful outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This following article has been accepted for publication in The International Journal of Lower Extremity Wound, published by SAGE. ”Abbas, Z. G. et al. (2021) ‘The Charcot Foot: An Emerging Public Health Problem for African Diabetes Patients’, The International Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds." available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords: charcot neuroarthropathy, Africa, diabetic foot ulcer, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, peripheral arterial diseases, infection, amputation, mortality
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Nachiappan CHOCKALINGAM
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2021 14:09
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2023 09:32

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