Socio-demographic factors in chronic leg ulceration

Moffatt, Christine J., Franks, Peter J., Doherty, Debra C., Smithdale, Rachael and Martin, Ruth (2006) Socio-demographic factors in chronic leg ulceration. British Journal of Dermatology, 155 (2). pp. 307-312. ISSN 1365-2133

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Abstract

SUMMARY:
Background  While there is a commonly held belief that leg ulceration is associated with social factors, the evidence to support this is mainly anecdotal.

OBJECTIVES: 
To determine deficits in sociodemographic status in patients with chronic leg ulceration.

METHODS: 
In a matched case–control study carried out in community leg ulcer clinics and participants’ homes within Wandsworth Primary Care Trust, patients with chronic leg ulceration were compared with age- and sex-matched community controls drawn from general practitioner registers. Main outcome measures were the prevalence of social class, ethnicity, marital status, living status and social support. Data were analysed by conditional logistic regression.

RESULTS: 
In all, 113 patients were identified and matched to controls. Patients had a mean age of 75 years (range 31–94), with 72 (64%) being women. The ulcer had been present for a median of 8 months (range 0·8–144), and 29% of patients had an area of ulceration >10 cm2 (range 0·5–171·5). Being Afro-Caribbean increased the risk of leg ulceration eightfold (95% confidence interval, CI 1·83–34·75; P < 0·001) compared with the white population. There was a gradient with social class, with patients with leg ulcers being more likely to come from social class IV and V (odds ratio, OR 2·82, 95% CI 1·19–6·74; P = 0·015). Never having married (OR 2·98, 95% CI 1·15–7·74; P = 0·025), living in rented housing (P < 0·001) and having a mobility deficit (P < 0·001) more often occurred in the ulcer patients, while living with a spouse was protective (OR 0·46, 95% CI 0·21–0·99; P = 0·048). Patients with ulceration experienced significantly poorer social support than their controls for most subscales of the medical outcomes study social support questionnaire (all P < 0·05).

CONCLUSIONS:
Chronic leg ulceration is associated with poorer socioeconomic status, and factors which relate to social isolation. At present it is not possible to determine whether these associations are causative or are a consequence of the ulceration.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Case–control study; Ethnicity; Leg ulceration; Social class; Social isolation; Sociodemographics
Subjects: Medicine and health > Clinical medicine
Depositing User: Rod Pow
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2012 15:21
Last Modified: 25 May 2017 14:20
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/99

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