Lymphat Res Biol 2019 Apr;17(2):178-186
2 Parkwood Institute Research, St. Joseph's Health Care London, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Canada.
Chronic edema/lymphedema is defined as edema present for more than 3 months. It is underrecognized and undertreated. The International Lymphedema Framework developed an international study, Lymphedema Impact and Prevalence International (LIMPRINT), to estimate the prevalence and impact of chronic edema in heterogeneous populations. Canada participated in this study. Participants were recruited from an outpatient chronic wound management clinic. At a study visit, the following tools were administered: The Core Tool, Demographics and Disability assessment (WHODAS 2.0), Quality-of-life assessment (LYMQOL + EQ-5D), Details of swelling, Wound assessment, and Cancer. Data were entered into an international database (Clindex), and country-specific data were analyzed. Sixty-eight subjects were enrolled. Fifty-seven percent were males and 43% females. More than 90% were older than 45 years. Only 7.35% had primary lymphedema. Most had lower extremity edema (65 of 68). Over half (47.06%) were morbidly obese with body mass index of >40. The most common underlying condition was venous disease. Only 8 of 68 had a history of cancer. While 72.06% had a history of cellulitis, only 10.2% had been hospitalized in the past year. 39.71% had an open wound. More than 75% had received multilayer bandaging, compression garments, wound dressings, and extensive counseling. Few had received manual lymphatic drainage, which is not funded. Disability was less than expected. Chronic edema/lymphedema is an underrecognized condition. These data and the wider LIMPRINT study are important tools to advocate for wider recognition and funding of treatment by health care systems.