Relationship between cognitive function in individuals with diabetic foot ulcer and mortality

Yael Sela*, Keren Grinberg, Tali Cukierman-Yaffe, Rachel Natovich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a common diabetes mellitus (DM) complication. Individuals with DM and a DFU achieved significantly lower scores in cognitive tests than those without a DFU. We investigated whether baseline cognitive function in individuals with a DFU is a determinant of mortality. Methods: A prospective study using data collected during a case–control study conducted in 2010–2012 whereby 90 participants with a DFU (mean age at baseline 58.28 ± 6.95 years, 75.6% male) took the paper and pencil and the NeuroTrax battery of cognitive tests. Depression was assessed, and the DFU status was evaluated. In 2020, information pertaining to participants’ vital status (dead/alive) was collected and the relationship between baseline cognitive status and vital status was assessed. Results: During a median follow-up of 6.8 years (range 0.2–9.5), 39 participants died (43.3%). Individuals alive vs. those who had died during follow-up had a higher global cognitive score at baseline (92.16 ± 10.95 vs. 87.18 ± 12.24, p = 0.045), but increased risk was not found. Individuals who were alive vs. those who had died during follow-up had statistically significantly higher baseline executive function, reaction time and digit symbol substitution test results. However, after adjustment for glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), microvascular and macrovascular complications, no relationship between cognitive tests and mortality remained significant. Conclusions: The higher mortality rate among people with type 2 DM and a DFU was not significant after adjustment for HbA1c, micro- and macrovascular complications. There may be common pathophysiological pathways to both DM complications and cognitive impairment, which may contribute to increased mortality. Further studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133
JournalDiabetology and Metabolic Syndrome
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Cognitive tests
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diabetic foot ulcer
  • Mortality


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