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PLoS One. 2013 May 22;8(5):e64714. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064714. Print 2013.

Prevalence and risk factors of asymptomatic peripheral arterial disease in patients with COPD in Taiwan.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chia-Yi Christian Hospital, Chiayi, Taiwan.



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of asymptomatic peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and the associated risk factors for patients with COPD.


This prospective cross-sectional study enrolled 427 COPD patients (mean age: 70.0 years) without PAD symptoms consecutively. Demographic data, lung function and cardiovascular risk factors were recorded. The ankle-brachial index (ABI) was used to detect PAD (ABI<0.90).


The overall prevalence of asymptomatic PAD in the COPD patients was 8% (2.5% in the younger participants (<65 years of age, n = 118) and 10% in the elderly participants (≥65 years of age, n = 309). The COPD patients with asymptomatic PAD had a significantly higher rate of hyperlipidemia (47.1% vs. 10.4%) and hypertension (79.4% vs. 45.8%) than those without asymptomatic PAD (p<0.05). There was no significant difference in lung function (forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second) between the two groups. In multivariate logistic regression, hyperlipidemia was the strongest independent factor for PAD (odds ratio (OR): 6.89, p<0.005), followed by old age (OR: 4.80), hypertension (OR: 3.39) and smoking burden (pack-years, OR: 1.02).


The prevalence of asymptomatic PAD among COPD patients in Taiwan is lower than in Western countries. Hyperlipidemia, old age, hypertension, and smoking burden were the associated cardiovascular risk factors. However, there was no association between lung function and PAD in the COPD patients.

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