Prevalence of co-morbidities and precipitating factors
Approximately seven million people suffer from chronic wounds annually. Hispanics and African Americans have a higher incidence of wounds than Caucasians.
Several factors have been shown to influence the incidence of wounds in the outpatient setting. Populations with high rates of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and the elderly have a higher incidence of chronic wounds.
One of the major health care problems in the U.S. is diabetes. Approximately 25.8 million people in the U.S. are diabetics, of which 7 million have not yet been diagnosed. This incidence accounts for approximately 8.3% of the population. There are another 79 million people with pre-diabetes. Diabetic wounds are the majority of chronic wounds seen in most ambulatory care settings. More than 60% of non-traumatic amputations occur in diabetics. The rate of amputation is 10 times greater in diabetics than in the general population. Unfortunately it is projected that approximately 30 million people will have diabetes by the year 2050.
Though treatment modalities for wound care have drastically improved over the years, and wound healing successes have prevented amputations, expensive rehabilitation and hospitalization costs, and even deaths; wound prevalence continues to climb.