Author(s): Cacoub P
AIMS: The deleterious nature of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is compounded by a status of underdiagnosed and undertreated disease. We evaluated the prevalence and predictive factors of PAD in high-risk patients using the ankle-brachial index (ABI).
METHODS: The ABI was measured by general practitioners in France (May 2005-February 2006) in 5679 adults aged 55 years or older and considered at high risk. The primary outcome was prevalence of PAD (ABI strictly below 0.90).
RESULTS: In all, 21.3% patients had signs or symptoms suggestive of PAD, 42.1% had previous history of atherothrombotic disease and 36.6% had two or more cardiovascular risk factors. Prevalence of PAD was 27.8% overall, ranging from 10.4% in patients with cardiovascular risk factors only to approximately 38% in each other subgroup. Prevalence differed depending on the localization of atherothrombotic events: it was 57.1-75.0% in patients with past history of symptomatic PAD; 24.6-31.1% in those who had experienced cerebrovascular and/or coronary events. Regarding the classical cardiovascular risk factors, PAD was more frequent when smoking and hypercholesterolemia history were reported. PAD prevalence was also higher in patients with history of abdominal aortic aneurysm, renal hypertension or atherothrombotic event. Intermittent claudication, lack of one pulse in the lower limbs, smoking, diabetes and renovascular hypertension were the main factors predictive of low ABI.
CONCLUSIONS: Given the elevated prevalence of PAD in high-risk patients and easiness of diagnosis using ABI in primary care, undoubtedly better awareness would help preserve individual cardiovascular health and achieve public health goals.Angiology: Open Access