Two new risk prediction tools that can identify patients with diabetes, who are at high risk of blindness and amputation, have been developed by researchers Julia Hippisley-Cox and Carol Coupland at the University of Nottingham.
The researchers set out to develop and validate a new risk prediction algorithm to predict the absolute risk of developing these complications over a 10 year period in men and women with diabetes.
‘Researchers have developed two new risk prediction tools in diabetics who are at high risk of blindness and amputation. These are the first tools for predicting the 10 year risk of both the complications.
For the study, the investigators used data derived from electronic patient records which included around 455,000 people with diabetes aged 25-84 years from various practices. Mathematical models were then used to calculate separate risk equations for the 10 year risk of blindness and amputation.
Data from a further 611 general practices were used to validate the two models, which performed well, explaining around 41% and 32% of the variation in time to amputation and blindness, respectively.
The authors also developed a web based calculator so that clinicians can enter their patients' data, and patients can enter their own data, to determine the 10 year risk of these complications.
The authors said, "These were the first tools for predicting the 10 year risk of both blindness and amputation, two of the complications that most concern patients with diabetes and affect quality of life."
Researcher Azeem Majeed and Mariam Molokhia said, "The new risk prediction models could help to provide the basis of a more individualized and holistic method of tackling these complications in patients."