Diabetes-related foot disease (DFD), defined as ulceration, infection or destruction of tissues of the foot in a person with current or previously diagnosed diabetes mellitus, is associated with a heavy burden for both patients and the healthcare system with high morbidity, mortality and costs. Improved outcomes for people with DFD are achieved with an interdisciplinary approach and adherence to best practice clinical guidelines; however, in the Australian context, the vastness of the country presents unique challenges in achieving optimal outcomes for all people with DFD, with variation in service delivery, availability and accessibility between metropolitan, rural and remote areas. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and people with diabetes living in rural and remote areas experience higher rates of lower-extremity amputation, and further efforts and resources are required to improve outcomes for these high-risk groups. In recent years, there have been advances in knowledge, including the understanding of the pathogenesis of diabetes-related peripheral neuropathy, genetic polymorphisms and mechanisms of disease associated with acute Charcot neuroarthropathy, biomarkers and potential mediators of diabetes-related foot ulcer (DFU) healing, the microbiology and microbiome profile of DFUs, pressure assessment and management as well as an expanded understanding of DFU sequelae and comorbidities. In this review, we describe new insights into pathophysiology, sequelae and comorbidities of DFD with a focus on basic and translational aspects and contributions to the field from Australian and New Zealand DFD researchers.
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- Author: Emma J Hamilton x
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