OBJECTIVES--Foot pathology is a major source of morbidity in adults with diabetes. The aim of this study was to determine if children with insulin dependent diabetes have an increased incidence of foot pathology compared with non-diabetic children. DESIGN--Questionnaire, clinical examination, and biomechanical assessment. SUBJECTS--67 diabetic children and a comparison group matched for age, sex, and social class. RESULTS--We found significantly more foot pathology in the children with diabetes (52 children) than the comparison group (28 children); with more biomechanical anomalies (58 children with diabetes, 34 comparison group); and a higher incidence of abnormal skin conditions (53 children with diabetes, 27 comparison group). Forty two children with diabetes had received foot health education compared with 27 in the comparison group, but the study revealed ignorance and misconceptions among the diabetic group, and previous contact with a podiatrist was minimal. CONCLUSIONS--The survey suggests that children with diabetes have an increased incidence of foot pathology justifying greater input of podiatric care in the hope of preventing later problems.
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