Systematic review of the impact and treatment of malnutrition in patients with chronic vascular wounds

L. Stopher, S. Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: Chronic wounds affect at least 1.9% of the population, significantly impairing quality of life for sufferers and placing a large financial burden on the health system(1,2). Adequate nutrition is required for wound healing and many patients with chronic wounds are significantly malnourished.

Methods: A systematic search of the literature was conducted utilising the Medline, PubMed, Cochrane Library and CINAHL Plus databases. The terms malnutrition and nutrition in alternate searches were used in various combinations with the Boolean phrase 'AND' to find applicable articles: chronic wound, wound healing, ulcer, diabetic, venous, arterial and foot. A total of 20 articles fit the criteria to review.

Results: This review has established that it is likely that malnutrition contributes to wound severity and limb loss; however, this is only level 3 evidence(2-4). This review has identified a paucity of consistent evidence of the influence of nutrition on wound healing.

Conclusions: There are limited good-quality, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to assess the impact of nutrition or malnutrition on wound healing in patients with vascular wounds. More research is required to evaluate the impact of education and/or supplementation on rates of healing in the different wound types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-80
Number of pages10
JournalWound Practice & Research: Journal of the Australian Wound Management Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


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