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Risk factors for developing venous leg ulceration

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Several risk factors for development of venous ulceration have been described.

  • direct risk factors
    • varicose veins
    • deep vein thrombosis
    • chronic venous insufficiency
    • poor calf muscle function
    • arterio-venous fistulae
    • obesity
    • history of leg fracture
  • indirect risk factors
    • all risk factors leading to deep vein thrombosis including protein-C, protein-S, and anti-thrombin III deficiency
    • family history of varicose veins
    • a history of minor trauma prior to the development of ulceration may also be identified

Recurrent venous ulceration occurs in up to 70% of those at risk (2).


1. Srinivasaiah N, Dugdall H, Barrett S, et al. A point prevalence survey of wounds in north-east England. J Wound Care 2007;16:413–419.

2. Grey JE, Harding KG, Enoch S. Venous and arterial leg ulcers. BMJ. 2006;332(7537):347-50.

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