Prevalence and incidence of chronic wounds and related complications: a protocol for a systematic review
With the dramatic increase in the aging population, the study and care of wounds in the elderly have become priority topics for both researchers and clinicians. The effects of aging on wound healing in humans have remained controversial. The study was a 5-year epidemiological evaluation of standardized data collected regularly during patients' visits at a specialized Wound Care Center with the aim to determine the key factors influencing the healing of chronic lower extremity wounds. In this analysis of 1,158 chronic wounds, the frequency of wound closure was statistically significantly lower in older patients compared with younger patients. The share of closed wounds decreased by nearly 25% in the elderly patients (>or=70 years). The relationship between the patient's age and the proportion of wound closure was nonlinear. The effect of aging on the frequency of wound closure of chronic wounds became clinically apparent after age 60. The chronicity of the wounds was illustrated by their recurrent nature, their long duration, the presence of multiple wounds, and the frequency of concurrent infection. Comorbidity was documented by the coprevalence of up to three underlying diseases related to impaired wound healing. The present study clearly showed that aging affects chronic wound healing negatively.