Nutritional status and wound severity of overweight and obese patients with venous leg ulcers: a pilot study.J Vasc Nurs. 2008 Jun; 26(2):43-52.JV
Obesity is a chronic disease that is linked to the presence of numerous chronic illnesses, including venous disease. Venous disease can lead to chronic wounds, which may be exacerbated by vitamin, mineral, and macro-nutritional deficiencies. A cross-sectional observational design was used to examine the nutritional status of patients with chronic venous leg ulcers (VLUs) who are overweight or obese and to explore the relationship between nutritional status and severity of venous ulceration. Nutritional status was evaluated using anthropometric measurements, nutrient analysis from a 3-day dietary intake log, serum albumin, vitamins A and C, and zinc levels. Wound severity was assessed using the Leg Ulcer Measurement Tool (LUMT). Eight patients participated; six patients were men, and all eight patients were more than 50 years of age. Patients had an average daily caloric intake below their estimated caloric need. When compared with recommended daily intake levels, dietary nutrient intake was suboptimal for protein, vitamin C, and zinc. Serum levels were below normal for at least one of these nutrients in six patients. A positive correlation was found only between serum albumin, average daily intake, and percent recommended daily intake of protein (r(s) = 0.93, P = .003). An inverse relationship was found between LUMT score and serum vitamin A levels (r(s) = -0.83, P = .01), and a positive correlation was observed between LUMT score and serum vitamin C (r(s) = 0.74, P = .04). No clear relationships were shown among serum zinc, albumin, and LUMT scores. Overweight and obese patients with VLU show nutritional deficits that are similar to those of the broader population of patients with leg ulcers. The relationships found between vitamins A and C and leg ulcer severity warrant further exploration. The nutritional differences in the study need to be examined in a larger sample of overweight and normal-weight patients to determine whether overweight patients are at greater risk for prolonged VLU because of poor nutrition than non-overweight patients.