Heart Health Affects Wound Healing

By John C. Jackman, MS, Director, Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine
Arizona Wound Centers at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital

Chronic wounds affect approximately 6.7 million people in the United States. If left untreated, chronic wounds can lead to a diminished quality of life and possibly amputation of the affected limb. The cost to treat these wounds exceeds $50 billion annually. While there are several factors that can affect wound healing, heart health is one of the most important.

Coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and other issues with the heart and vessels can cause obstructions that hinder the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrition to the wound. Cholesterol, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure can also affect the health of your heart.

Coronary artery disease, also known as ischemia, is when plaque grows within the walls of the coronary arteries until the blood flow to the heart is limited. Peripheral arterial disease is a condition that develops when the arteries that supply blood to the internal organs, arms and legs become completely or partially blocked as a result of atherosclerosis.

To avoid these conditions, it is important to keep your heart healthy. The Arizona Wound Centers offer the following:

Tips to Live a Heart Healthy Life

  • Live an active lifestyle with 30 minutes of exercise on most days.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco of any kind as it is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease.
  • Eat a diet that is heart-healthy — this includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other low-fat sources of protein.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. All of these chronic conditions can lead to heart disease.
  • Get quality sleep by making it a priority in your life. Most adults need 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Manage your stress in a healthy way with positive self-talk, using stress stoppers, doing things you enjoy, and relaxing on a regular basis.
  • See your health care provider for regular screenings — this includes blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose (diabetes) screenings.

For more information about how your heart health can affect wound healing, contact your primary care provider or the Arizona Wound Center at www.arizonawoundcenters.com, or at any of our 3 Valley locations: Tempe 480-333-5152, Phoenix 602-251-8714 and Mesa 480-358-6090.