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Hard-to-heal Wounds associated with low vitamin D – review June 2021

Correlation between vitamin D levels and hard-to-heal wounds: a systematic review

J Wound Care. 2021 Jun 1;30(Sup6):S4-S10. doi: 10.12968/jowc.2021.30.Sup6.S4.
Karen Smith 1, Susan Hewlings 1


Objective: Hard-to-heal wounds are a major biological, psychological, social and financial burden on both individual patients and the broader health system. They are associated with a variety of comorbidities and have a complex aetiology, but are typically associated with nutritional deficiencies, such as low vitamin D levels. This systematic literature review evaluates the current research regarding the connection between inadequate vitamin D status and wound healing.

Method: PubMed and EBSCO databases were searched following PRISMA guidelines for primary research studies relating to pressure ulcers, diabetic ulcers or venous ulcers and vitamin D status.

Results: A total of 10 studies, involving 2359 participants, met the inclusion criteria. There was a strong correlation between low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and the presence of all three types of hard-to-heal wounds.

Conclusion: Research suggests a correlation between low vitamin D levels and hard-to-heal wounds. However, it is not clear if the relationship is causal or only correlational. There is also emerging evidence on the use of vitamin D supplementation for the treatment of hard-to-heal wounds. More research is needed to understand the correlation between vitamin D and hard-to-heal wounds.

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