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Race and venous ulcer care

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    Researchers have looked into race as a factor in patient outcomes for those with venous stasis ulcers. 

    The research sample was queried from all Caucasian and African American patients with ICD-9 diagnosis code for venous stasis with venous ulcer, inflammation or complications. 

    A total of 20.648 patients were analyzed, of which 15% were African-American.  Although there was a decrease in the number of ulcer debridement procedures done in the cohort between 1998 and 2011, the data showed that African-American patients had significantly more ulcer debridements than Caucasian patients.  Trend analysis was performed by the researchers using the Mann-Kendall statistical test. 

    The researchers accounted for demographics, disease management, cost of ulcer care, CEAP classification and length of stay and mortality between the 2 race groups. 

    Major conclusions from this study is that African-Americans with a primary diagnosis of venous stasis presented with more advanced disease and at a younger age compared to Caucasian patients. Furthermore, African-American patients had more ulcer debridement, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and higher hospitlal charges compared to Caucasian patients. 

    The study was published by Dua A, Desai SS, Heller JA. The Impact of Race on Advanced Chronic Venous Insufficiency. Clinical Research 2016; 34: 152-156. 

    Editor's comment;  It is rare for any patient in my practice to need debridement for avvenous stasis ulcer.  The typical patient requires UNNA boot therapy to help heal the ulcer.