Diabetic foot, an important cause of morbidity and mortality, is an important economic problem in all countries. We examined the duration of diabetes, ratio of hospitalization, and the amputation rates of our diabetic foot patients between 1996 and 2002 and compared the results with those obtained between 1985 and 1995. Medical reports of 117 patients with diabetic foot referred to Gazi University Medical Faculty between 1996 and 2002 were retrospectively analyzed. The mean age was 61.09+/-10.87 years and mean duration of diabetes was 16.14+/-9.44 years. Sixty-one patients were hospitalized and 56 patients were followed in our outpatient clinic. The mean duration of hospitalization was 45.00+/-18.74 (20-74) days in amputees and 28.95+/-11.61 (10-47) days in the nonamputees (P=.023). The mean age and duration of diabetes were significantly higher in amputees in the present group than that in the previous group. The amputation rate was significantly lower in the group studied between 1996 and 2002 compared to the group followed between 1985 and 1995 (9.4% vs. 21%, respectively, P<.001). Appropriate diabetes education and systematic follow-up in an outpatient clinic may delay preventable diabetic foot lesions and reduce the amputation rate. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.