• diabetic foot ulcer;
  • peripheral arterial disease;
  • amputation;
  • infection;
  • costs;
  • delivery of care


The European Study Group on Diabetes and the Lower Extremity is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary network of 14 centres from ten countries. In 2003–2004, all patients treated in the participating centres because of a new diabetic foot ulcer (n = 1232) were included in a prospective observational study. Subjects attended follow-up visits on a monthly basis until final outcome: healing of the foot, lower-leg amputation, death or non-healing after 1 year. During all visits, data were recorded on standardized case record forms by investigators who were trained during several plenary meetings and on-site visits. Unique aspects of the study were its size, the pan-European scope and the integrated/holistic approach for a multi-organ disease. In this review, the main findings of the study and its implications for diabetic foot care are discussed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.