High rates of foot complications have been reported in people with diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, there is a paucity of data in support of the changing pattern with time. We report here data on trends in hospitalization for foot ulceration over an 8-year consecutive period in a specialized diabetes unit in SSA. Admission and discharge registers of the diabetes and endocrine unit of the Yaounde Central hospital, Cameroon, were reviewed for the period 2000 through 2007. Data were collected on the status for diabetes, presence of foot ulcer, age, sex, duration of hospitalization, amputation, and deaths.We found that 1841 patients with diabetes were admitted during the study period. The prevalence of foot ulceration was 13% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 11%-15%) and varied significantly by year of study (P =.001). The mean duration of hospitalization significantly decreased with time. Foot ulcer was associated with 115% (95% CI = 87%-148%) more bed use than other conditions in diabetes. Foot ulcer was associated with a nonsignificantly lower risk of death or dropout, with evidence of some attenuation with time. With one exception, the amputation rate of 16% (95% CI = 11%-20%) was similar across years. Foot ulcer is a major cause of hospital admission and bed use for diabetes in Cameroon.
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