Zinc deficiency in patients with arterial leg ulcers
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Background and aim: Leg ulcers are quite common among elderly patients. Venous leg ulcers are the most frequent, followed by arterial leg ulcers, which usually are painful to the patients. The treatment of ulcers is expensive and generates huge financial costs in the Western World. Zinc is involved in many aspects of ulcer healing, and is therefore essential in this process. Zinc deficiency is associated with impaired ulcer healing. The aim of this study was therefore to observe the frequency of zinc deficiency in patients with arterial leg ulcers. Material and methods: This observational study measured plasma zinc consecutively in 11 patients admitted to the Department of Vascular Surgery, St Olav’s Hospital, Trondheim, with arterial ulcers below the knee. Result: 7 of 11(63.3%) of the patients had zinc deficiency defined as a plasma zinc level below 11.2μmol/L.