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J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown). 2008 Apr;9(4):382-8. doi: 10.2459/JCM.0b013e3282f03b90.

Women and peripheral arterial disease: same disease, different issues.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Medicine and Cardiovascular and Immunological Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy. brevetti@unina.it

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Atherosclerosis is a multifactorial disease and, thus, its clinical manifestations are likely to present gender-specific differences with respect to their development, course, symptom complexes and prognosis. The present study aimed to examine sex differences in peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and its clinical correlates.

METHODS:

PAD severity, quality of life (assessed by ST-22), cardiovascular risk factors, inflammatory profile and comorbidity were assessed in 163 men and 68 women who were consecutively diagnosed with PAD at three Italian University vascular centres.

RESULTS:

Compared to men, women showed a higher prevalence of critical limb ischemia (P = 0.018), but had a less impaired quality of life (assessed by ST-22), and were less likely to have a history of lower extremity revascularization. Furthermore, women tended to be older (P = 0.058), and more likely to present hypercholesterolemia (P = 0.053), diabetes mellitus (P = 0.001), body mass index > or = 30 kg/m2 (P = 0.003) and metabolic syndrome (P = 0.001). Conversely, C-reactive protein plasma levels were similar in the two groups. No gender-specific difference was observed in cardiovascular comorbidity; however, the condition showing the strongest association with coronary artery disease was diabetes mellitus in women (odds ratio = 4.96, P = 0.021), and smoking in men (odds ratio = 2.66, P = 0.008).

CONCLUSION:

In PAD, there are several sex differences in baseline characteristics, especially with respect to the weight and significance of cardiovascular risk factors. Knowledge of these differences may help achieve optimal gender-specific cardiovascular risk prevention.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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