Author(s): Simonsick EM
BACKGROUND: This study reports the prevalence of intermittent claudication (IC) in ambulatory community-resident adults age 65 years or older, compares cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidity of persons with and without IC, and examines the independent association of IC in predicting all cause and cardiovascular mortality, myocardial infarction, stroke, and disability.
METHODS: Data are from a pooled sample of 8996 older adults from the East Boston, New Haven, and Iowa sites of the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly, conducted between 1982 and 1988.
RESULTS: 2.4% and 1.5% of men and women, respectively, reported IC. Persons with IC had significantly higher rates of diabetes and cardiovascular comorbidity than persons without IC, and they were more likely to smoke. Claudication predicted higher rates of mortality, myocardial infarction, stroke, and disability independent of associated cardiovascular conditions and risk factors. Among persons with a history of angina, myocardial infarction, and/or stroke, those who reported IC had a twofold greater risk of cardiovascular mortality.
CONCLUSION: The study demonstrated that IC is an important predictor of mortality and cardiovascular morbidity in ambulatory older adults independent of associated coronary ischemia and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Results suggest that inclusion of a measure of IC improves the prediction of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in older adults.Angiology: Open Access