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MiFoot, my health, my life

Project summary

Diabetes can cause many complications including foot ulcers. These can lead to a significantly higher risk of heart attacks, strokes and a shortened lifespan. Professor Khunti and his team are researching the best way to reduce these so that people with diabetes and foot ulcers can have healthier and longer lives. 

Background to research

People with type 2 diabetes can develop nerve damage to their feet, which can lead to foot ulcers. We know that people who’ve had a foot ulcer are at much higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, like heart attacks and strokes, and early death than those people with type 2 who’ve never had a foot ulcer. 

Despite this, there has been little research into how to prevent heart disease in people who have had a foot ulcer. There’s also been very little research to understand how people’s age, ethnicity and where they live affects the link between foot ulcers and cardiovascular disease. And there's currently no specialised care to support these people to reduce their risk.

Research aims

Professor Khunti and his team aim to prevent heart disease, strokes and early deaths in people living with type 2 diabetes who’ve had a foot ulcer.  

  1. Professor Khunti and team will use health records to find out how many people with type 2 diabetes with a foot ulcer go on to experience heart attacks or stroke. They will also explore whether certain groups of people or people from certain areas are at higher risk. 

  1. They’ll carry out a detailed review of current treatments and care already used for people with foot ulcers. They’ll use this to see what works well and what doesn’t. 

  1. Using this information, along with input from people living with type 2 diabetes, Professor Khunti will develop a new healthcare package called MiFoot. This will aim to prevent cardiovascular disease and early death in people with type 2 diabetes who have had a foot ulcer.  

  1. They’ll test MiFoot in a clinical trial with people with type 2 diabetes who have a foot ulcer. This will find out how effective the package is in preventing cardiovascular disease compared with standard care. They’ll also calculate if MiFoot offers value for money to the NHS.   

Potential benefit to people with diabetes

In the UK alone, foot ulcers affect over 50,000 people with type 2 diabetes at any one time. And these people have a much higher risk of developing further health complications and dying earlier.  

If shown to be effective, Professor Khunti’s research will result in a new NHS healthcare programme for the thousands of people in the UK living with type 2 diabetes and a history of foot ulcers, helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes, and save lives.  

This project is co-funded with NIHR. Diabetes UK has contributed £200,000.
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