BACKGROUND: Despite the frequency of recurrent acute cellulitis of the lower extremities, factors associated with this infection have not been previously assessed in a case-control study among patients admitted to U.S. hospitals. METHODS: We compared the clinical characteristics of 47 patients with those of 94 age- and sex-matched control subjects admitted to the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center. RESULTS: In a multivariate analysis, two physical factors, lower extremity edema and body mass index, one behavioral factor, smoking, and one demographic factor, homelessness, were significantly and independently associated with recurrent cellulitis. The latter two factors have not previously been reported to be independently associated with cellulitis. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that increased emphasis on weight loss, smoking cessation, and improved foot hygiene in the homeless might decrease recurrences of lower extremity cellulitis.
- Case-control studies
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