Epidemiology of chronic wounds in Germany: Analysis of statutory health insurance data

Wound Repair Regen. 2016 Mar;24(2):434-42. doi: 10.1111/wrr.12387. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

Abstract

Epidemiologic analyses in routine care of chronic wounds are scarce, and published studies show wide variations. This study analyzes the population-based prevalence and incidence of chronic wounds in Germany. Secondary analyses of data from a German statutory health insurance with about 9 million insured persons were examined (2010 to 2012). Internal diagnostic validations were used to control for different inclusion criteria. In 2012, 1.04% (95% CI 1.03-1.05) of insured patients had a wound diagnosis, including 0.70% with leg ulcers and 0.27% with diabetic ulcers. Wound treatment was received by 0.43% (0.43-0.44) of patients. Prevalence and incidence increased over 3 years. Extrapolated to the German population, there were 786,407 prevalent and 196,602 incident chronic wounds, including 326,334/172,026 patients who underwent wound-relevant treatment in 2012. There is an annually increasing frequency of chronic wounds in Germany. Chronic wound epidemiology is sensitive to wound treatment as a filter criterion.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease / economics
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology*
  • Chronic Disease / therapy
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health*
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement / economics
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement / statistics & numerical data*
  • Leg Ulcer / economics
  • Leg Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Leg Ulcer / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Wound Healing
  • Wounds and Injuries / economics
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*