The magnitude of the problem of peripheral arterial disease: Epidemiology and clinical significance

Mary Mc Grae McDermott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


The prevalence of lower extremity peripheral arterialdisease (PAD) varies across populations, based on thegroups studied and the detection methods used. Theankle-brachial index (ABI) is a more sensitive tool forPAD detection than is screening for intermittent claudication(IC); only about 10% to 30% of patients diagnosedwith PAD based on the ABI have classic symptomsof IC. The prevalence of PAD increases markedlywith older age and in persons with diabetes or a historyof smoking; prevalence also is elevated in persons withhyperlipidemia, hypertension, or chronic kidney disease. PAD is more prevalent in primary care medical practicesthan in community-dwelling populations. PAD (definedas an ABI< 0.90) is associated with a twofold to threefoldincreased risk of cardiovascular mortality. Borderline and low-normal ABI values, as well as elevated ABI values (> 1.30 or > 1.40), are increasingly recognized as being associated with elevated cardiovascular mortality. Persons with PAD have significantly increased functional impairment and elevated rates offunctional decline relative to those without PAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-7
Number of pages6
JournalCleveland Clinic journal of medicine
Issue numberSUPPL.4
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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