LIMPRINT: Estimation of the Prevalence of Lymphoedema/Chronic Oedema in Acute Hospital in In-Patients.
Background: To estimate the prevalence of lymphedema/chronic edema (CO) and wounds in acute hospital inpatients in five different countries. Methods and Results: A point-prevalence study was carried out during working day periods in six general hospitals in four countries (Denmark, France, United Kingdom, and Australia) and one hospital oncology inpatient unit in one other country (Ireland). The study used validated clinical tools for the assessment and collection of data. Data were collected by expert clinicians through interviews and physical examination of the patients present in the wards. A total of 1905 patients could be included and investigated among the 3041 total bed occupancy in the seven hospitals. Lymphedema/CO was present in 723 of them (38%). Main risk factors associated with CO were age, morbid obesity, and heart failure, as well as chair bound immobility and neurological deficiency. History of cellulitis was frequent in patients with CO and wounds (24.8%) and CO alone (14.1%) compared to the 1.5% prevalence in patients without CO. Conclusion: Lymphedema/CO is very frequent in patients hospitalized in hospital acute wards. It is strongly associated with obesity, venous insufficiency, and heart failure. Our results strongly suggest a hidden health care burden and cost linked to CO independently of chronic wounds.
- Specialist Medicine