Examining risk factors and preventive treatments for first venous leg ulceration: A cohort study

Evan Darwin, Guodong Liu, Robert S. Kirsner, Hadar Lev-Tov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Large studies that examine risk factors for first occurrence of venous leg ulcerations are needed to guide management. Objective: To investigate factors associated with development of first occurrence of venous leg ulcerations. Methods: A retrospective cohort study using a validated national commercial claims database of patients with venous insufficiency. Subjects were followed to determine whether they developed first occurrence of venous leg ulcerations, and risk and protective factors were analyzed. Results: Adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) for comorbidities demonstrated an increased risk in men (AHR 1.838; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.798-1.880), older age (45-54 years: AHR 1.316, 95% CI 1.276-1.358; 55-64 years, AHR 1.596, 95% CI 1.546-1.648), history of nonvenous leg ulceration (AHR 3.923; 95% CI 3.699-4.161), anticoagulant use (AHR 1.199; 95% CI 1.152-1.249), antihypertensive use (AHR 1.067; 95% CI 1.040-1.093), and preexisting venous insufficiency including chronic venous insufficiency (AHR 1.244; 95% CI 1.193-1.298), edema (AHR 1.224; 95% CI 1.193-1.256), and chronic venous hypertension (AHR 1.671; 95% CI 1.440-1.939). Possible protective factors were having venous surgery (AHR 0.454; 95% CI 0.442-0.467), using compression stockings (AHR 0.728; 95% CI 0.705-0.753), using prescribed statin medications (AHR 0.721; 95% CI 0.700-0.743), and using pain medications (AHR 0.779; 95% CI 0.757-0.777). Limitations: Risk of misclassification, given the use of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes. Possible confounding factors such as body mass index could not be adequately controlled with these codes. Conclusion: The new evidence presented supports a paradigm shift toward venous leg ulceration prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


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