Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Chronic ulcer of the leg: clinical history.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 30 May 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:1389
  1. M J Callam,
  2. D R Harper,
  3. J J Dale,
  4. C V Ruckley


    Six hundred patients with chronic leg ulcers were studied by detailed history and examination as part of a population survey. In 22% ulceration began before the age of 40, and in this group the sex incidence was equal. Over age 40 there was an increasing preponderance of women. Ulcers were significantly more common in the left leg in women but not in men. The site of 26% of ulcers did not include the classical medial goiter area. The median duration of the ulceration at the time of the survey was nine months and 20% had not healed in over two years. The great majority of patients had had recurrence, 66% having had episodes of ulceration for more than five years. Healing of ulcers is a serious problem, but preventing recurrence is the greater challenge.