Background: Among people with lower extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD), little is known about variation in response to supervised exercise therapy (SET). Clinical characteristics associated with greater responsiveness to SET have not been identified. Methods: Data from participants with PAD in two randomized clinical trials comparing SET vs nonexercising control were combined. The exercise intervention consisted of three times weekly supervised treadmill exercise. The control groups received lectures on health-related topics. Results: Of 309 unique participants randomized (mean age, 67.9 years [standard deviation, 9.3 years]; 132 [42.7%] women; 185 [59.9%] black), 285 (92%) completed 6-month follow-up. Compared with control, those randomized to SET improved 6-minute walk distance by 35.6 meters (95% confidence interval, 21.4-49.8; P < .001). In the 95 (62.1%) participants who attended at least 70% of SET sessions, change in 6-minute walk distance varied from −149.4 to +356.0 meters. Thirty-four (35.8%) had no 6-minute walk distance improvement. Among all participants, age, sex, race, body mass index, prior lower extremity revascularization, and other clinical characteristics did not affect the degree of improvement in 6-minute walk distance after SET relative to the control group. Participants with 6-minute walk distance less than the median of 334 meters at baseline had greater percentage improvement in 6-minute walk distance compared with those with baseline 6-minute walk distance above the median (+20.5% vs +5.3%; P for interaction = .0107). Conclusions: Among people with PAD, substantial variability exists in walking improvement after SET. Shorter 6-minute walk distance at baseline was associated with greater improvement after SET, but other clinical characteristics, including age, sex, prior lower extremity revascularization, and disease severity, did not affect responsiveness to exercise therapy.
- Intermittent claudication
- Peripheral artery disease
- Supervised exercise therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine