Prevalence of fungal infection on foot in diabetic patients and correlation between diabetic ulcer and fungal infection on foot

Kwang Hoon Lee, Ju Hee Lee, Jeong Deuk Lee, Baik Kee Cho, Hyung Ok Kim, Kea Jeung Kim, Nack In Kim, Hae Jun Song, Sook Ja Son, Sang Won Kim, Chul Jong Park, Ki Ho Kim, Kyung Sool Kwon, Wook Hwa Park, Eil Soo Lee, Dae Gyoo Byun, Jin Wou Kim, Si Yong Kim, Jong Suk Lee, Won Hyoung KangSeok Don Park, Eung Ho Choi, Ai Young Lee, Jun Young Lee, Jeong Hee Hahm, Sung Wook Park, Gwang Seong Choi, Young Ho Won, Seong Jun Seo, Byung In Ro, Kwang Joong Kim, Jong Min Kim, Hee Joon Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Object: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of fungal infection and ulcer on the feet of diabetic patients and the existence of correlation between ulcer and fungal infection. Methods: A total of 21,693 outpatients diagnosed as diabetes mellitus at the department of endocrinology of 32 hospitals were examined. The diabetic patients with foot problems were consulted to the department of dermatology. Physical examination and KOH preparation were performed. Results: 13,271 patients had certain kinds of foot problem, accounting for 61.2% of 21,693 diabetics examined. Of these, fungal foot disease were found in 10,403 that constituted 78.4% (48.0% of the entire diabetic population). Tinea pedis was the diagnosis in 6,496 (29.9%), onychomycosis in 7,783 (35.9%), and coexistence was in 3,883 (17.9%). Foot deformity was in 1,346 (6.2% of diabetics; 10.1% of foot disease), non-palpable pulse in 1,051 (4.8%; 7.9%), and foot ulcer was in 425 (2.0%; 3.2%), following in a descending order of frequency. Odds ratios for diabetic foot ulcer were 2. 5 in patients with the foot deformity, 1.6 with fungal foot disease and 2.2 with non-palpable pulse. Conversely, Odds ratios for fungal foot disease were 2.5 with foot deformity, and 1.6 with foot ulcer. A total of 5,486 patients paid a visit to the department of dermatology. Of these, 4,519 patients were diagnosed with fungal infection through physical examination and KOH smear by dermatologists. The population comprised of 2,272 males and 2,247 females, showing similar prevalence between sexes. However, age did have positive correlation regarding prevalence of fungal foot disease. The number of diabetic patients with toenail problems was 3,847 patients (70%) and onychomycosis was proven mycologically in 3,276. Onychomycosis of distal subungal type was the most common clinical finding, most frequently involving the great toenails. Abnormal skin findings of the foot were seen in 3,885(70.8%) and tinea pedis was found in 3,209 (58.5%), most commonly involving the soles. Conclusion: This study showed that fungal infection might be regarded as a risk factor of foot ulcer. Treatment of fungal infection in diabetic patients might prevent diabetic foot disease such as ulcer and reduce the disability, morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-915
Number of pages8
JournalKorean Journal of Dermatology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jul 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence of fungal infection on foot in diabetic patients and correlation between diabetic ulcer and fungal infection on foot'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this