Leg ulcer: an observational study in Juiz de Fora, MG (Brazil) and region

Marco Andrey Cipriani Frade Igor Brum Cursi Felipe Fortes Andrade Samara Casemiro Soares Wendel S. Ribeiro Sandro V. Santos Norma Tiraboschi Foss About the authors

BACKGROUND: Leg ulcers are characterized as tissue loss in the lower extremities, generally caused by vascular dysfunction. OBJECTIVES: Verify the clinical and epidemiological profiles of the population sample with leg ulcers treated at the health centers of Juiz de Fora (Brazil). MATERIAL AND METHODS: 124 leg-wound patients were evaluated between January 1999 and August 2001 and submitted to a clinical protocol. RESULTS: The mean age was 64 years, with females in the majority (65.3%). The mean family composition was 3.7 persons, and family income was around US$200.00 (86.8%). Venous insufficiency (90.3%), systemic arterial hypertension (54%), obesity (20.2%) and diabetes mellitus (16.1%) were the most frequent events associated with the ulcers. An association of venous insufficiency and arterial hypertension was frequent in 43.7% of the sample, and significant (p<0.01) to predisposition to the ulcers. These were classified as venous (79%), hypertensive (15.4%), mixed and other (5.6%). The ulcers were generally localized in the distal third of legs (90%) and considered large (5 cm) in about 90% of the sample, with means of 8.7 cm and 9.6 cm to vertical and horizontal axes, respectively. The ulcers were accompanied mainly by hyperpigmentation (92.7%), lipodermatosclerosis (68.5%) and varicose veins (66.9%), with a mean duration of 94.2 months and 50% of them recurrent. CONCLUSIONS: The data suggested that leg ulcer is an important chronic disease in the elderly and poor population of Juiz de Fora and region.

Aged; Income; Family income; Leg ulcers; Varicose veins


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