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J Vasc Surg. 2002 Sep;36(3):443-51.

Prevalence of renovascular disease in the elderly: a population-based study.

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Division of Surgical Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1095, USA.



The purpose of this investigation was to estimate the population-based prevalence of renovascular disease (RVD), defined as > or = 60% diameter-reducing renal artery stenosis or occlusion, and to define its associations with age, gender, race, and other potential risk factors among participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS).


The CHS is a multicenter, longitudinal cohort study of cardiovascular disease risk factors, morbidity, and mortality among free-living adults of more than 65 years of age. As part of an ancillary investigation, participants in the Forsyth County cohort of the CHS were invited to undergo renal duplex sonography (RDS) to define the presence or absence of RVD. RVD was defined as stenosis with a focal renal artery peak systolic velocity exceeding 1.8 m/s in the main renal artery and defined as occlusion when an imaged renal artery lacked a Doppler signal. Demographic and atherosclerotic risk factor data were gathered as part of the baseline CHS examination. Univariable tests of association were performed with chi(2) and Student t tests and logistic regression analysis. Multivariate associations were examined with logistic regression analysis.


Eight hundred seventy CHS participants underwent RDS. Of these examinations, 834 (96%) were technically adequate to define the presence or absence of RVD. The RDS study cohort had a mean age of 77.2 +/- 4.9 years and consisted of 63% women and 37% men. Participant race was 76% white and 23% African American. The overall prevalence rate of RVD was 6.8%. Among the 57 patients with RVD, 50 (88%) had unilateral disease and seven (12%) had bilateral disease. Seven cases were seen of renal artery occlusion, including one case with contralateral renal artery stenosis. The mean ages of patients with and without RVD were 78.7 +/- 5.7 years and 77.1 +/- 4.9 years (P =.018). RVD was present in 5.5% of women and 9.1% of men (P =.053). RVD was present in 6.9% of white participants and 6.7% of African American participants (P =.933). Multivariate analysis revealed increasing participant age (P =.028; odds ratio, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.03, 1.73), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels of less than 40 mg/dL (P =.003; odds ratio, 2.63; 95% CI, 1.40, 4.93), and increasing systolic blood pressure (P =.007; odds ratio, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.10, 1.87) to be significantly and independently associated with the presence of RVD.


This investigation provides the first population-based estimate of the prevalence of RVD among free-living, elderly black and white Americans. RVD was present in 6.8% of the study cohort. RVD showed no association with ethnicity. However, its presence was significantly and independently associated with increasing age, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and increasing systolic blood pressure.

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