Cognitive dysfunction: Part and parcel of the diabetic foot

Rachel Natovich, Talma Kushnir, Ilana Harman-Boehm, Daniella Margalit, Itzhak Siev-Ner, Daniel Tsalichin, Ilia Volkov, Shmuel Giveon, Deborah Rubin-Asher, Tali Cukierman-Yaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective The presence of a foot ulcer increases the self-treatment burden imposed on the individual with diabetes. Additionally, this condition increases the cognitive demands needed for adherence tomedical recommendations. A potential gap could exist between medical recommendations and the individual's ability to implement them. Hence, the goal of this study was to examine whether the cognitive profile of peoplewith diabetic foot ulcers differs fromthat of peoplewith diabetes without this complication. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This was a case-control study. Ninety-nine individuals with diabetic foot ulcers (case patients) and 95 individuals with type 2 diabetes (control subjects) (age range 45-75 years), who werematched for diabetes duration and sex, underwent extensive neuropsychological evaluation using a NeuroTrax computerized battery, digit symbol, and verbal fluency tests. A global cognitive score after standardization for age and education was computed as well as scores in the following six cognitive domains: memory, executive function, reaction time, attention, psychomotor abilities, and estimated premorbid cognition. RESULTS Individuals with diabetic foot ulcers had significantly (P < 0.001) lower cognitive scores than individuals with diabetes without this complication, in all tested cognitive domains, excluding estimated premorbid cognition. Individuals with diabetic foot ulcers demonstrated a significant difference between precognitive and current cognitive abilities, as opposed to the nonsignificant difference among control subjects. The differences persisted inmultivariable analysis after adjusting for depression and smoking. CONCLUSIONS Individuals with diabetic foot ulcers were found to possess fewer cognitive resources than individuals with diabetes without this complication. Thus, they appear to face more self-treatment challenges, while possessing significantly fewer cognitive resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1202-1207
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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