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Heart Fail Rev. 2013 Jul;18(4):457-64. doi: 10.1007/s10741-012-9331-1.

Peripheral arterial disease and chronic heart failure: a dangerous mix.

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  • 1Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Technology Sydney, PO BOX 123, Broadway, 235 Jones Street, Ultimo, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia.


Chronic heart failure (CHF) is associated with a high comorbidity burden, adverse impact on quality of life and high health care utilisation. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and CHF share many risk, pathophysiological and prognostic features, and each has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. PAD often goes undetected, and yet in spite of the availability of screening tools, this is not commonly considered in CHF care. A review of the electronic databases Medline, CINAHL and Cochrane CENTRAL was undertaken using the MeSH terms peripheral arterial disease, peripheral vascular disease, intermittent claudication and heart failure to identify studies examining the prevalence and clinical outcomes of coexisting PAD in patients with CHF. Five studies were identified. There are limited data describing the impact of PAD on CHF outcomes. As PAD may contribute to decreased capacity to exercise and other self-care behaviours, identifying those at risk and providing appropriate therapy are important. Based on this review, patients who are smokers and those with diagnosed coronary heart disease and diabetes should be targeted for the screening of PAD.

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