Relationship between the seasonal onset of chronic venous leg ulcers and climatic factors
Article first published online: 4 MAR 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology © 2011 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Volume 25, Issue 12, pages 1415–1419, December 2011
How to Cite
Klode, J., Stoffels, I., Körber, A., Weindorf, M. and Dissemond, J. (2011), Relationship between the seasonal onset of chronic venous leg ulcers and climatic factors. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 25: 1415–1419. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.03988.x
- Issue published online: 14 NOV 2011
- Article first published online: 4 MAR 2011
- Received: 21 September 2010; Accepted: 10 January 2011
Background There have been reports indicating seasonal differences in the onset of chronic leg ulcers. The reasons for such seasonal fluctuations are not well understood. Therefore we decided to examine the seasonal incidence of chronic leg ulcers in our patient population, caused by chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) or mixed arterial and venous disorders, for any correlation with climatic factors.
Methods We retrospectively analysed the data of 183 patients with chronic leg ulcers, evaluated the monthly and seasonal onset of the leg ulcers and investigated correlations between the incidence and climatic factors.
Results The onset of chronic leg ulcers showed significant seasonal fluctuations with a decrease in summer and an increase in autumn-winter. The ulcer onset in the cold months, autumn and winter, was significantly higher (P = 0.026) compared with spring and summer. Furthermore, in the bivariate correlation analysis of the variables temperature and ulcer onset, there was a statistically significant negative correlation between temperature and new ulcer onset. The colder the temperature was, the higher was the new ulcer onset with a correlation coefficient of −0.613 (P = 0.034).
Conclusion The onset of chronic leg ulcers caused by CVI and mixed arterial and venous disorders in our patient population showed significant seasonal variations and demonstrated an inverse relationship to temperature. In summary, climatic factors appear to play an important role in the onset of chronic leg ulcers. Climatic factors may therefore need consideration in future clinical investigations and in the development of prophylactic therapeutic strategies.