Close up image of a caretaker helping older woman walk

The features of an ulcer are more important in predicting long-term healing than a diabetic patient’s other health characteristics.

An observational study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association found that ulcer stage, presence of biofilm and ulcer depth were better indicators of healing at the one-year mark.

“These findings have important implications for clinical practice, especially in an outpatient setting,” wrote Lourdes Vella, BSc, a Department of Health Official in Valletta Malta, and her co-investigator, Cynthia Formosa, Ph.D., of the University of Malta. “Prediction of outcome may be helpful for healthcare professionals in individualizing and optimizing clinical assessment and management of patients.”

The researchers tracked 99 patients presenting with diabetic foot ulceration for up to one year. They found that hemoglobin A levels also could influence time of healing.

The researchers believed the identification of such determinants of outcome could result in improved health outcomes, improved quality of life and fewer diabetes-related foot complications and amputations.