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Rivista di Chirurgia Cardiaca, Vascolare e Toracica

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Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2009 June;50(3):263-73

lingua: Inglese

Diabetic patients: epidemiology and global impact

Setacci C., de Donato G., Setacci F., Chisci E.

Department of Surgery Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Unit University of Siena, Siena, Italy


Definition of the exact epidemiology and the global impact of diabetes is not easy, being strictly related to the availability of data in developing countries and to the use in the existing population-based investigations of common criteria for the diagnosis and definition of diabetes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the total number of people with diabetes was 171 million in 2000, and is projected to rise up to 366 million in 2030. The true prevalence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in people with diabetes has been difficult to determine, as most patients are asymptomatic, many do not report their symptoms, screening modalities have not been uniformly agreed upon, and pain perception may be blunted by the presence of peripheral neuropathy. Population-based studies, using a validated and reproducible test, have revealed a prevalence of PAD in people with diabetes to be up to 30%. Among people with diabetes, the annual incidence of developing a foot ulcer ranges from 1% to 4.1% and the prevalence ranges from 4% to 10%, which suggests that the lifetime incidence may be as high as 25%. Foot ulcer associated to PAD requires revascularization, although it is generally considered that the outcome in those people is inferior to that in non-diabetic patients. In summary, the increasing worldwide diabetes prevalence will inevitably result in increasing proportions of deaths from cardiovascular disease, as well as in increased prevalence and associated consequences of other complications of diabetes. As suggested by WHO, a concerted, global initiative is required to address the diabetes epidemic.

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