Ankle brachial index (ABI) in a cohort of older women in the Philippines: Prevalence of peripheral artery disease and predictors of ABI

Christopher W. Kuzawa*, Tyler M. Barrett, Judith B. Borja, Nanette R. Lee, Celine T. Aquino, Linda S. Adair, Thomas W. McDade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is rising in low and middle-income countries, but studies of CVD epidemiology in such settings often focus on risk factors rather than measures of disease progression. Here we use the ankle brachial index (ABI) to assess the prevalence of peripheral artery disease (PAD) among older women living in Metropolitan Cebu, Philippines, and relationships between ABI and CVD risk factors and body composition. Methods: ABI was measured using the Doppler technique in 538 female participants in the 2015 Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey (mean age 58 years, range 47-78 years). ABI was related to a panel of CVD risk factors measured in 2005 and 2012, and to 2012 body composition measures. Results: The prevalence of PAD (1.8%) was among the lowest reported in any comparably-aged sample, and only 9.9% of participants had an ABI indicating borderline PAD risk. Smoking (P < 0.011) and use of CVD medications (P < 0.0001) predicted lower ABI (indicating higher PAD risk), which was also lower in relation to 2012 systolic blood pressure (P < 0.054). ABI was unrelated to other CVD risk factors. An apparent protective relationship between body mass index (BMI) and ABI, noted in previous studies, was found to be confounded by protective relationships between ABI and fat free mass, height, and grip strength (all P < 0.05). Conclusions: The prevalence of PAD is low in Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey participants, and ABI was related to few CVD risk factors. Past reports of lower PAD risk in relation to BMI may reflect confounding by lean mass, which has protective relationships with ABI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere23237
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anatomy


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