Anthropometric Profile and Diabetic Foot Risk: A Cross-Sectional Study using Thermography

Neves, Eduardo Borba ;   Almeida, António José ;   Rosa, Claudio ;   Vilaça-Alves, José ;   Reis, Victor Machado ;   Mendes, Romeu

Diabetes is one of the greatest todays public health problems with enormous social and economic implications for society. Diabetic foot disorders represent a substantial economic burden with detrimental effects on quality of life with special impairment in physical domain. Early detection strategies of these complications should be implemented in order to avoid possible wounds, ulcerations and amputations. This work can be characterized as a cross-sectional study with an analytical approach. It involved 44 volunteers of both genders (22 women and 22 men; 66.70 ± 6.26 years of age) with type 2 diabetes (diagnosed at 11.84 ± 8.22 years), selected among the candidates to Diabetes em Movimento® (a community-based exercise program for patients with type 2 diabetes developed in the city of Vila Real, Portugal). Foot plantar thermal images were acquired through a high-resolution infrared camera (FLIR Systems Inc. Model SC2000; 320 x 240 pixels). Three regions of interest (ROI) were defined for evaluation: first finger, fifth finger and the heel. From the three pairs of ROIs evaluated, the higher temperature asymmetry was selected for diabetic foot risk analysis. The results showed the existence of a positive and significant association between BMI and fat mass with asymmetries in feet temperature. Three subjects with diabetes-related foot complications (ROIs higher temperature asymmetry ? 2.20 ºC) were identified in the sample. All participants with detected diabetes-related foot complications were obese (BMI ? 30 kg/m2) with high levels of body fat (? 45%). It can be concluded that exist a positive association either of BMI (r=0.399, p=0.007) either of body fat percentage (r=0.432, p=0.003), with diabetic foot risk in patients with type 2 diabetes.