Patients with diabetes may want to think twice about their footwear. A Caribbean study found that inadequate footwear triples the risk of lower-leg amputation. Reporting in Diabetes Care (November 2004), the researchers said that the overall rate of lowerextremity amputation among diabetes patients was 936 per 10,000 patients. The rate is 3 times higher than for similar Caribbean migrants to the United Kingdom.
The study pointed to men and single individuals having a higher risk of amputation, influenced by how long the individual had diabetes and how well blood glucose levels were controlled. The researchers reported that the chance of lower-leg amputation risk was almost tripled in men going barefoot, doubled in women regularly wearing sneakers to work, increased 4-fold by wearing sneakers to town, and doubled by wearing rubber thong sandals.