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Br J Surg. 1991 Jul;78(7):864-7.

Epidemiology of chronic venous ulcers.

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University Department of Surgery, Fremantle Hospital, Western Australia.


A metropolitan population of 238,000 in Perth, Western Australia, was screened for chronic ulceration of the leg. Patients with a chronic leg ulcer and a venous abnormality comprised 57 per cent of all patients with a chronic leg ulcer, giving a prevalence of 0.62 per 1000 population. There was an increasing prevalence with age; 90 per cent of patients were 60 years and older. This group comprised 16.7 per cent of the population, and had a prevalence of 3.3 per 1000. Although chronic venous ulcers were more common in women there was no difference in age related prevalence. In 36 per cent of patients with a venous abnormality, there was at least one other aetiological factor contributing to chronic ulceration of the leg; 96 per cent had either a history of deep venous thrombosis or a condition known to predispose to deep venous thrombosis.

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