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Asymptomatic peripheral artery disease prevalence is rising
Date:11/4/2007

ORLANDO, Nov. 4 The prevalence of asymptomatic peripheral artery disease (PAD) is steadily increasing among American adults, researchers reported at the American Heart Associations Scientific Sessions 2007. PAD occurs when fatty deposits accumulate in the inner linings of artery walls, restricting blood flow and needed oxygen to the legs, feet, arms and other areas of the body. PAD increases the risk of dying from heart disease and stroke.

We were interested in seeing if the prevalence of peripheral artery disease in the general U.S. population is increasing, specifically among people who dont have known coronary artery disease, said Andrew D. Sumner, M.D., lead author of the study and a cardiologist and medical director of the Heart Station and Cardiac Prevention at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa.

Researchers hypothesized that the prevalence of asymptomatic PAD is increasing and the escalation is associated with a rise in the prevalence of other common cardiovascular risk factors, including diabetes, smoking, obesity and hypertension.

Sumner and colleagues analyzed data from three successive National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), conducted in two-year increments between 1999 and 2004. They identified PAD prevalence by identifying people with an ankle-brachial index of less than 0.9.

The ankle-brachial index measures the ratio of the blood pressure in the arms and legs, and if it is less than 0.9, people by definition have PAD, he said.

The researchers then examined the prevalence of associated cardiac risk factors of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and smoking in 5,376 participants, age 40 and older, with no prior history of cardiovascular disease. They found that PAD prevalence among asymptomatic adults 40 years and older significantly increased from 3.7 percent in the 1999-2000 survey to 4.2 percent in the 2001-02 survey and 4.6 percent in the 2003-04 survey.

PAD prevalence was highest among thos
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Contact: Karen Astle
karen.astle@heart.org
214-706-1392
American Heart Association
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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