Heart Health and the Impact on Chronic Wounds

African American Senior Citizen Woman Checking Pulse
African American senior woman (60s) exercising outdoors, taking pulse.

Your heart affects every aspect of your health. This includes your ability to heal wounds. Your heart circulates oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout your body. Cardiovascular diseases damage blood vessels. They also cause blockages that obstruct the flow of blood. This decreased blood flow hinders the delivery of oxygen and nutrition needed for proper wound healing. 

Currently, 48% of American adults, suffer from cardiovascular disease including Coronary Artery Disease, Peripheral Artery Disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  

Eight million Americans are currently living with a chronic wound. Most of them have three to four other chronic conditions including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. These people are at high risk for complications without proper wound care. An unhealed wound on the foot or leg can lead to amputation. In fact, 82% of lower leg amputations are due to poor circulation of the affected limb. 

Take steps to prevent conditions that may affect the health of your heart and proper wound healing. The Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at Luminis Health Doctors Community Medical Center (LHDCMC) offers the following tips to live a heart healthy life.  

Eat Heathy 

Low-fat, high-fiber foods are good for your heart. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains every day. 

Be Active 

Walk, run, dance, swim . . . find a way to get moving for at least 30 minutes every day. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight. 

Take Care 

Be kind to yourself. Practice positive self-talk. Make sleep a priority. Reduce stress with fun hobbies. Stop smoking and all use of nicotine.   

Get Screened 

See your health care provider at least twice a year. Ask about screenings for blood pressure, cholesterolperipheral vascular disease and diabetes.  

If you or someone you know is living with a cardiovascular disease, it is especially important to detect wounds early. Seek specialized wound care to prevent possible infection, hospitalization and amputation due to poor circulation. For more information, contact The Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at LHDCMC at 240-965-3690 or visit https://www.dchweb.org/locations/center-wound-healing-and-hyperbaric-medicine. 


Author: Queen MbanuzueDPM, podiatrist at Luminis Health Doctors Community Medical Center