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01-12-2016 | Research | Uitgave 1/2016 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2016

Characteristics of non-diabetic foot ulcers in Western Sydney, Australia

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2016
Norafizah Haji Zaine, Kerry Hitos, Mauro Vicaretti, John P. Fletcher, Lindy Begg, Joshua Burns
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Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

NHZ, JB, KH conceived the idea and designed the study, extracted the data, performed the statistical analysis, contributed to the discussion, wrote and reviewed/ edited the manuscript. MV and JPF designed, contributed to discussion and reviewed/ edited the manuscript. LB contributed to the study design and review of the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.



There are few studies investigating the characteristics, risk factors and socioeconomic status of patients with non-diabetic foot ulcers. The aim of this study was to explore the characteristics of non-diabetic foot ulcers in a large tertiary referral outpatient hospital setting in Western Sydney, Australia.


From 2011 to 2013, data from 202 patients with non-diabetic foot ulcers during their initial visit were retrospectively extracted for analysis from Westmead Hospital’s Foot Wound Clinic Registry. Data including demographics, socioeconomic status and foot ulcer characteristics were recorded on a standardised data collection form.


Demographics and physical characteristics were: 54 % male, median age 78 years [interquartile range (IQR): 64–87], median body mass index (BMI) of 23.8 kg/m2 (IQR: 20–26.9), 35 % had loss of protective sensation and the median postcode score for socioeconomic status was 996 (IQR: 935–1034). Foot ulcer characteristics were: median cross-sectional area of 1.2 cm2 (IQR: 0.3–5.0), 30.5 % plantar and 27 % dorsal, 22.1 % University of Texas (UT) Wound Classification for Diabetic Foot Ulcers Grade of 1C-3C (with ischaemia).


Unlike diabetic foot ulcers, non-diabetic foot ulcers largely affected older males and females. In accordance with diabetic foot ulcer characteristics, socioeconomic status was not related to non-diabetic foot ulcers in Western Sydney. Based on the findings of this study the epidemiological pattern of non-diabetic foot ulceration and its pathogenesis requires further investigation.

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