Nutrition and Lower Extremity Ulcers: Causality and/or Treatment

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The association between malnutrition, impaired wound healing, and the presence of chronic wounds has been recognized for a long time. It is widely believed that the lack of adequate nutrition increases the risk of developing wounds which have a great likelihood of progressing to chronicity due to lack of appropriate healing responses. This risk is particularly high in the aging population. For the individual patient, as well as patient populations, the diagnosis of malnutrition has been in dispute; further, there is lack of agreement of when and how to intervene nutritionally in those with wounds or healing deficits. This article examines the relationship of nutritional status with the presence and clinical evolution of leg ulcers in humans, focusing on diabetic and venous leg ulcers; we will further review the effect of nutritional therapy on the outcome of these ulcers.

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