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01-12-2018 | Research | Uitgave 1/2018 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2018

Sarcopenia increases the risk for mortality in patients who undergo amputation for diabetic foot

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2018
You Keun Kim, Ho Seong Lee, Jae Jung Ryu, Hye In Lee, Sang Gyo Seo



Although there have been reports that diabetes affects the prevalence of sarcopenia, no studies have examined the relationship between sarcopenia and mortality in patients undergoing leg amputation. The purpose of this study is to determine whether sarcopenia affects the mortality rate of patients undergoing diabetic foot amputation.


From among patients who underwent limb amputation for diabetes complications, this study included 167 patients who underwent abdominal CT within 1 year of amputation. We defined sarcopenia using sex-specific cut-off points for the L3 skeletal muscle index. The 5-year survival rate was analyzed. All patients were divided into two groups and compared according to the presence of sarcopenia. The mortality rate according to sarcopenia was assessed via the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test. Uni- and multivariate Cox regression analyses evaluated factors associated with survival rate.


Among the total of 167 patients, the overall 5-year mortality rate was 52.7%. Of the 112 patients with sarcopenia, the 5-year mortality rate was 60.7%. Of the 55 patients without sarcopenia, the 5-year mortality rate was 36.4%. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a high mortality of the sarcopenia group in the univariate (p = 0.016) and multivariate (p = 0.047) analysis.


Our study is the first to analyze the relationship between diabetic amputation and sarcopenia. Sarcopenia increases the risk of mortality in patients who undergo amputation for diabetic foot. Therefore, patients with diabetes should be careful to prevent sarcopenia with enough regular exercise as well as prevent diabetic foot disease.

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