Risk factors for delayed healing and recurrence of chronic venous leg ulcers - An analysis of 1324 legs

M. S. Gohel, M. Taylor, J. J. Earnshaw, B. P. Heather, K. R. Poskitt, Mark R. Whyman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. Despite similar disease patterns and treatment, there is great variation in clinical outcome between venous ulcer patients. The aim of this study was to identify independent risk factors for venous ulcer healing and recurrence. Methods. Consecutive patients assessed by a specialist nurse-led leg ulcer service between January 1998 and July 2003 with an ABPI>0.85 were included in this study. Independent risk factors for healing and recurrence were identified from routinely assessed variables using a Cox regression proportional hazards model. Results. A total of 1324 legs in 1186 patients were studied. The 24-week healing rate was 76% and 1 year recurrence rate was 17% (Kaplan-Meier life table analysis). Patient age (p<0.001, HR per year 0.989, 95% CI 0.984-0.995) and ulcer chronicity (p=0.019, HR per month 0.996, 95% CI 0.993-0.999) were independent risk factors for delayed ulcer healing. Ulcer healing time (p<0.001, HR per week 1.016, 95% CI 1.007-1.026) and superficial venous reflux not treated with surgery (p=0.015, HR 2.218, 95% CI 1.166-4.218) were independent risk factors for ulcer recurrence. Conclusions. Elderly patients with longstanding ulcers should be targeted for further research and may benefit from adjunctive treatments to improve clinical outcomes. Patients not treated with superficial venous surgery were at increased risk of leg ulcer recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-77
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Colour venous duplex
  • Healing
  • Recurrence
  • Risk factor
  • Venous ulceration


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