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risk factors for pressure ulcers, pressure ulcers in older adults, pressure ulcer risk factors in long-term-care facility



  1. Takahashi, Paul Y. MD
  2. Chandra, Anupam MD
  3. Cha, Stephen S. MS


BACKGROUND: Older adults frequently experience pressure ulcers (PrUs) and suffer the risks of the ulceration. Risk factors for PrUs remain unclear in a community population.


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the risk factors for future pressure ulceration in a community sample.


DESIGN: This was a retrospective cohort study.


PATIENTS: All patients older than 60 years in a primary care panel in Olmsted County, Minnesota, on January 1, 2005, were enrolled (n = 12,650).


METHODS AND OUTCOMES: The primary outcome was a new diagnosis of pressure ulceration within 40 months of index date. The predictor risk variables included demographic and comorbid health risk factors. The data were analyzed using univariable and multivariable logistic regression. The authors created a final model based on multivariable risk factors.


MAIN RESULTS: Of 12,650 patients, 366 patients developed an incident PrU (2.9%). In the final model, age, male sex, and long-term-care facility admission were significant factors. Prior pressure ulceration with an odds ratio of 5.60 (95% confidence interval, 3.86-8.14) was the largest risk factor. Diabetes, falls, cataracts, renal insufficiency, and peripheral vascular disease were also associated with PrU development.


CONCLUSION: PrU development involves important risk factors of prior PrU development and long-term-care facility placement as the 2 largest risk factors. Both factors are easily determined by history. Increasing age and comorbid medical conditions also impact PrU development as important risk factors for PrU development.