How does the prevalence of pressure injuries (pressure ulcers) vary by age?

Updated: Mar 26, 2020
  • Author: Christian N Kirman, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

The prevalence of pressure injuries appears to have a bimodal age distribution. A small peak occurs during the third decade of life, reflecting ulceration in those with traumatic neurologic injury. Immobility and lack of sensation make these patients susceptible to developing pressure injuries. Treatment of these lesions in this patient population represents a financial challenge, with one hospital reporting an average cost of $78,000 for each admission of a patient with a pressure injury.

As patients move from the age category of 40-58 years to the age category of 75 years or older, a larger increase in the incidence of pressure injuries occurs. [50] Two thirds of pressure injuries occur in patients older than 70 years. [38] As elderly individuals become the fastest-growing segment of the population, with an estimated 1.5 million people living in extended-care facilities, the problem of pressure injuries will have an even more profound influence on the American economy. [51]


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