Researchers in the United Kingdom have developed a validated risk assessment equation to show the 10-year risk of blindness and lower limb amputation in diabetes patients. Such tools have already been developed for the general population to assess heart attack, stroke and diabetes risk, and now the QDiabetes tool is the first tool for diabetics that gives an accurate assessment of their risk of these most feared complications.
Data has been collected from English General Practitioners since 1998 from over 400,000 patients. The algorithms are based on variables that patients are likely to know or that can be found from asking your GP. Knowing your risk could be worthwhile so you would know to intensify your control and monitor your condition more stringently.
For clinicians, complication risk could enable screening programs to be tailored to an individual’s need for support and the more rational use of scarce resources. Retinopathy could be done more frequently than once a year for those who need it and less frequently than once a year for those who do not. Those at higher risk of amputation might benefit from a proactive targeted program to prevent lower extremity amputation (including more frequent checks, tailored patient education, specially designed protective footwear, and early reporting of foot injuries), as this has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of emergency admissions, use of antibiotics, foot operations, and lower limb amputation compared with usual practice.
To see what your risk factors are click here: QDiabetes® (Amputation and blindness) equations.
Based on an online article at Diabetes in Control.
Hippisley-cox J, Coupland C. “Development and validation of risk prediction equations to estimate future risk of blindness and lower limb amputation in patients with diabetes: cohort study.” BMJ. 2015;351:h5441.