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Wound Repair Regen. 2016 Mar;24(2):434-42. doi: 10.1111/wrr.12387. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

Epidemiology of chronic wounds in Germany: Analysis of statutory health insurance data.

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Institute for Health Services Research in Dermatology and Nursing (IVDP), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany.
Center for Social Policy Research, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany.


Epidemiologic analyses in routine care of chronic wounds are scarce, and published studies show wide variations. This study analyzes the population-based prevalence and incidence of chronic wounds in Germany. Secondary analyses of data from a German statutory health insurance with about 9 million insured persons were examined (2010 to 2012). Internal diagnostic validations were used to control for different inclusion criteria. In 2012, 1.04% (95% CI 1.03-1.05) of insured patients had a wound diagnosis, including 0.70% with leg ulcers and 0.27% with diabetic ulcers. Wound treatment was received by 0.43% (0.43-0.44) of patients. Prevalence and incidence increased over 3 years. Extrapolated to the German population, there were 786,407 prevalent and 196,602 incident chronic wounds, including 326,334/172,026 patients who underwent wound-relevant treatment in 2012. There is an annually increasing frequency of chronic wounds in Germany. Chronic wound epidemiology is sensitive to wound treatment as a filter criterion.

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