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Vasa. 2008 Nov;37(4):345-52. doi: 10.1024/0301-1526.37.4.345.

The Arteriomobil Project for peripheral arterial disease.

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German Union of PAD Self-Help Groups.



Peripheral Arterial Disease in Germany is underestimated with regard to incidence and the consequences. In 1997 the Federal Association of the Peripheral Arterial Disease Self Help Groups started the Arteriomobil Project to increase the awareness for venous and arterial diseases in the general population. We report peripheral arterial disease (PAD) prevalence rates and discuss the unique concept of this project.


The Arteriomobil is a mobile home modified to a simple investigation room with an examination couch, a Doppler equipment and a computer for data acquisition. From April 1997 to April 2007, a total of 14.785 volunteers aged 18 to 102 years (mean age +/- SD: 64 +/- 11 years, 63% females) were investigated. Patients were recruited as a result of their active visit to the Arteriomobil and their active participation in the investigation. In all participants the medical history was documented according to a standardized computer-assisted interview and a standardized Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) determined.


PAD prevalence in females (ABI < 0.9) increased from 2% in the 5th decade of life to 33% in 10th decade and in males from 4.8% to 41% accordingly. Age- and gender-adjusted odds ratios for PAD were highest in smoker: Odds ratio 2.85 (95% Confidence interval 2.5-3.2) and Diabetes mellitus 1.91 (95%CI 1.7-2.2). Hypertension and hypercholesterolemia had a lower impact. Family history of known PAD, CHD or CVD had no impact. Although 49.5% of all participants complained of "leg disorders during exercise" intermittent claudication turned out to be the most discriminating symptom for PAD 5.87 (95%IC 5.18-6.66). Previous myocardial infarction (MI) was the most frequently reported vascular co-morbidity in those with PAD (OR 2.23, 95%IC 1.9-2.7) followed by stroke (2.12, 1.7-2.7), angina pectoris (1.50, 1.3-1.8) and paresis (2.01, 1.6-2.6). The incidence of anti-platelet treatment was significantly higher in participants with coronary heart disease than in those with PAD or cerebrovascular disease.


The Arteriomobil Project is the largest database regarding the prevalence of PAD in the German population. and the data underlines the high prevalence of PAD in Germany.

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