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      Human skin wounds: A major and snowballing threat to public health and the economy

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          Abstract

          ABSTRACT In the United States, chronic wounds affect 6.5 million patients. An estimated excess of US$25 billion is spent annually on treatment of chronic wounds and the burden is rapidly growing due to increasing health care costs, an aging population and a sharp rise in the incidence of diabetes and obesity worldwide. The annual wound care products market is projected to reach $15.3 billion by 2010. Chronic wounds are rarely seen in individuals who are otherwise healthy. In fact, chronic wound patients frequently suffer from "highly branded" diseases such as diabetes and obesity. This seems to have overshadowed the significance of wounds per se as a major health problem. For example, NIH's Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT; http://report.nih.gov/), directed at providing access to estimates of funding for various disease conditions does list several rare diseases but does not list wounds. Forty million inpatient surgical procedures were performed in the United States in 2000, followed closely by 31.5 million outpatient surgeries. The need for post-surgical wound care is sharply on the rise. Emergency wound care in an acute setting has major significance not only in a war setting but also in homeland preparedness against natural disasters as well as against terrorism attacks. An additional burden of wound healing is the problem of skin scarring, a $12 billion annual market. The immense economic and social impact of wounds in our society calls for allocation of a higher level of attention and resources to understand biological mechanisms underlying cutaneous wound complications.

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          Most cited references 76

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          Global Prevalence of Diabetes: Estimates for the year 2000 and projections for 2030

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            Wound repair and regeneration.

            The repair of wounds is one of the most complex biological processes that occur during human life. After an injury, multiple biological pathways immediately become activated and are synchronized to respond. In human adults, the wound repair process commonly leads to a non-functioning mass of fibrotic tissue known as a scar. By contrast, early in gestation, injured fetal tissues can be completely recreated, without fibrosis, in a process resembling regeneration. Some organisms, however, retain the ability to regenerate tissue throughout adult life. Knowledge gained from studying such organisms might help to unlock latent regenerative pathways in humans, which would change medical practice as much as the introduction of antibiotics did in the twentieth century.
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              Cutaneous wound healing.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                WRR
                Wound Repair and Regeneration
                Wiley
                10671927
                1524475X
                November 2009
                November 2009
                : 17
                : 6
                : 763-771
                Article
                10.1111/j.1524-475X.2009.00543.x
                2810192
                19903300
                © 2009

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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