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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1988 Jul;36(7):607-12.

The prevalence and one-year outcome of limb arterial obstructive disease in a nursing home population.

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  • 1Jewish Home and Hospital for Aged, New York, New York.


To assess the utility of bedside diagnostic measures to detect prognostically significant peripheral vascular disease, we examined 60 nursing home residents by physical examination, Doppler sphygmomamometry and pneumatic oscillometry, and recorded the clinical history. Eighty-eight percent of the cases had tibial/brachial arterial systolic pressure indices below 0.95, the lower limit traditionally considered normal. Yet, no more than 5% of the patients carried a previous diagnosis of peripheral vascular disease or had intermittent claudication, leg ulcers or gangrene. Approximately half of the patients had tibial/brachial pressure indices less than 0.7, and one year later in these cases, there was significantly greater morbidity and nearly twice the mortality of patients with less severe disease. We conclude that simple bedside diagnostic tests of arterial disease used in this study discloses a high prevalence of disease in institutionalized elderly patients and identifies a group at particular risk for morbid complications.

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