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J Vasc Surg. 2013 Sep;58(3):673-81.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2013.01.053. Epub 2013 May 2.

Modifiable risk factor burden and the prevalence of peripheral artery disease in different vascular territories.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.



The precise relationship between risk factor burden and prevalence of peripheral artery disease (PAD) in different vascular territories (PAD, carotid artery stenosis [CAS], and abdominal aortic aneurysms [AAAs]) is unclear.


We investigated the association of modifiable risk factors (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, diabetes, and sedentary lifestyle) with any and type-specific peripheral vascular disease (PVD) among 3.3 million patients in the U.S., aged 40 to 99, who underwent screening bilateral ankle brachial indices, carotid duplex ultrasound, and abdominal aortic ultrasound in the Life Line Screening program between 2004 and 2008. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the odds of disease in different risk factor categories. Population-attributable risk was calculated to estimate the proportion of disease that could be potentially ascribed to modifiable risk factors.


Among 3,319,993 participants, prevalence of any PVD was 7.51% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.50%-7.53%). PAD was present in 3.56% (95% CI, 3.54%-3.58%), CAS in 3.94% (95% CI, 3.92%-3.96%), and AAAs in 0.88% (95% CI, 0.86%-0.89%). The multivariate-adjusted prevalence with the presence of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 modifiable risk factors was 2.76, 4.63, 7.12, 10.73, 16.00, and 22.08 (P < .0001 for trend) for any PVD; 1.18, 2.09, 3.28, 5.14, 8.32, and 12.43 (P < .0001 for trend) for PAD; 1.41, 2.36, 3.72, 5.73, 8.48, and 11.58 (P < .0001 for trend) for CAS; and 0.31, 0.54, 0.85, 1.28, 1.82, and 2.39 (P < .0001 for trend) for AAAs, respectively. These associations were similar for men and women. For every additional modifiable risk factor that was present, the multivariate-adjusted odds of having vascular disease increased significantly (any PVD [odds ratio (OR), 1.58; 95% CI, 1.58-1.59]; PAD [OR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.62-1.63]; CAS [OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.56-1.57]; and AAA [OR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.50-1.53]).


This very large contemporary database demonstrates that risk factor burden is associated with an increased prevalence of PVD, and there is a graded association between the number of risk factors present and the prevalence of PAD, CAS, and AAAs.

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