Women With Peripheral Arterial Disease Experience Faster Functional Decline Than Men With Peripheral Arterial Disease

Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology (Impact Factor: 16.5). 02/2011; 57(6):707-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2010.09.042
Source: PubMed


We hypothesized that women with lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD) would have greater mobility loss and faster functional decline than men with PAD.
Whether rates of mobility loss or functional decline differ between men and women with PAD is currently unknown.
Three hundred eighty men and women with PAD completed the 6-min walk, were assessed for mobility disability, and underwent measures of 4-m walking velocity at baseline and annually for up to 4 years. Computed tomography-assessed calf muscle characteristics were measured biannually. Outcomes included becoming unable to walk for 6 min continuously among participants who walked continuously for 6 min at baseline. Mobility loss was defined as becoming unable to walk for a quarter mile or to walk up and down 1 flight of stairs without assistance among those without baseline mobility disability. Results were adjusted for age, race, body mass index, physical activity, the ankle brachial index, comorbidities, and other confounders.
At 4 years of follow-up, women were more likely to become unable to walk for 6 min continuously (hazard ratio: 2.30, 95% confidence interval: 1.30 to 4.06, p = 0.004), more likely to develop mobility disability (hazard ratio: 1.79, 95% confidence interval: 1.30 to 3.03, p = 0.030), and had faster declines in walking velocity (p = 0.022) and the distance achieved in the 6-min walk (p = 0.041) compared with men. Sex differences in functional decline were attenuated after additional adjustment for baseline sex differences in calf muscle area.
Women with PAD have faster functional decline and greater mobility loss than men with PAD. These sex differences may be attributable to smaller baseline calf muscle area among women with PAD.

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    • "This is concerning given the severe consequences of untreated PVD, which include heart attack, stroke, limb disability or amputation [18]. The longer-term consequences of PVD may result in a disproportionate burden of disease in women if a lack of treatment leads to higher levels of complications and disease severity; indeed, a recent study found that after 4 years of follow-up, women with PVD have much greater mobility loss and faster functional decline than men [19], a finding which could be explained by process of care patterns observed here. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Women are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease, often experiencing poorer outcomes following a cardiovascular event. Evidence points to inequities in processes of care as a potential contributing factor. This study sought to determine whether any sex differences exist in adherence to process of care guidelines for cardiovascular disease within primary care practices in Ontario, Canada. Methods This is a secondary analysis of pooled cross-sectional baseline data collected through a larger quality improvement initiative known as the Improved Delivery of Cardiovascular Care (IDOCC). Chart abstraction was performed for 4,931 patients from 84 primary care practices in Eastern Ontario who had, or were at high risk of, cardiovascular disease. Measures examining adherence to guidelines associated with nine areas of cardiovascular care (coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease (PVD), stroke/transient ischemic attack, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, smoking cessation, and weight management) were collected. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate sex differences, adjusting for age, physician remuneration, and rurality. Results Women were significantly less likely to have their lipid profiles taken (OR = 1.17, 95% CI 1.03-1.33), be prescribed lipid lowering medication for dyslipidemia (OR = 1.54, 95% CI 1.20-1.97), and to be prescribed ASA following stroke (OR = 1.56, 95% CI 1.39-1.75). Women with PVD were significantly less likely to be prescribed ACE inhibitors and/or angiotensin receptor blockers (OR = 1.74, 95% CI 1.25-2.41) and lipid lowering medications (OR = 1.95, 95% CI 1.46-2.62) or ASA (OR = 1.59, 95% CI 1.43-1.78). However, women were more likely to have two blood pressure measurements taken and to be referred to a dietician or weight loss program. Male patients with diabetes were less likely to be prescribed glycemic control medication (OR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.74-0.86). Conclusions Sex disparities exist in the quality of cardiovascular care in Canadian primary care practices, which tend to favour men. Women with PVD have a particularly high risk of not receiving appropriate medications. Our findings indicate that improvements in care delivery should be made to address these issues, particularly with regard to the prescribing of recommended medications for women, and preventive measures for men.
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