Article

Associations Between Conventional Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Risk of Peripheral Artery Disease in Men

Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 30.39). 10/2012; 308(16):1660-7. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.13415
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous studies have examined the associations of individual clinical risk factors with risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD), but the combined effects of these risk factors are largely unknown.
To estimate the degree to which the 4 conventional cardiovascular risk factors of smoking, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and type 2 diabetes are associated with the risk of PAD among men.
Prospective study of 44,985 men in the United States without a history of cardiovascular disease at baseline in 1986; participants in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study were followed up for 25 years until January 2011. The presence of risk factors was updated biennially during follow-up.
Clinically significant PAD defined as limb amputation or revascularization, angiogram reporting vascular obstruction of 50% or greater, ankle-brachial index of less than 0.90, or physician-diagnosed PAD.
During a median follow-up of 24.2 years (interquartile range, 20.8-24.7 years), there were 537 cases of incident PAD. Each risk factor was significantly and independently associated with a higher risk of PAD after adjustment for the other 3 risk factors and confounders. The age-adjusted incidence rates were 9 (95% CI, 6-14) cases/100,000 person-years (n = 19 incident cases) for 0 risk factors, 23 (95% CI, 18-28) cases/100,000 person-years (n = 99 incident cases) for 1 risk factor, 47 (95% CI, 39-56) cases/100,000 person-years (n = 176 incident cases) for 2 risk factors, 92 (95% CI, 76-111) cases/100,000 person-years (n = 180 incident cases) for 3 risk factors, and 186 (95% CI, 141-246) cases/100,000 person-years (n = 63 incident cases) for 4 risk factors. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio for each additional risk factor was 2.06 (95% CI, 1.88-2.26). Men without any of the 4 risk factors had a hazard ratio of PAD of 0.23 (95% CI, 0.14-0.36) compared with all other men in the cohort. In 96% of PAD cases (95% CI, 94%-98%), at least 1 of the 4 risk factors was present at the time of PAD diagnosis. The population-attributable risk associated with these 4 risk factors was 75% (95% CI, 64%-87%). The absolute incidence of PAD among men with all 4 risk factors was 3.5/1000 person-years.
Among men in this cohort, smoking, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and type 2 diabetes account for the majority of risk associated with development of clinically significant PAD.

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    • "Nevertheless, pharmacological studies using the femoral artery are highly relevant for a better understanding of the pathophysiology of peripheral artery disease (PAD), whose incidence has an increasing tendency in the world population [27] [28] similar to hypertension. Many factors, including hypertension and advancing age, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of PAD [27] [29] [30]. Although the femoral arteries are not the main factor contributing to elevated peripheral resistance in hypertension, altered vascular function in early periods of life may be involved in various diseased states in old age. "
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