Background: Little is known about the relationship between dietary patterns and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Our aim was to estimate the association between nutrient intake and diagnosis of PAD.
Methods and results: We assessed the nutrient intake of 1251 home-dwelling subjects enrolled in the InCHIANTI study, mean age 68 years (S.D.: 15). We explored the relationship between nutrient intake, obtained through the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) questionnaire, and PAD, defined as an ankle-brachial index (ABI)<0.90. After adjustment for potential confounders, we found a reduction of the risk of having an ABI<0.90 associated with vegetable lipid intake>or=34.4 g/day (OR: 0.39; 95% CI: 0.16-0.97), Vitamin E intake>or=7.726 mg/day (OR: 0.37; 95% CI 0.16-0.84) and higher serum HDL cholesterol concentration (OR: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.63-0.92 for 10mg/dl increase). Age (OR: 1.11; 95% CI 1.07-1.14 for 1 year increase), smoking (OR: 1.03; 95% CI: 1.01-1.04 for 10 packs/year increase) and pulse pressure (OR: 1.11; 95% CI: 1.03-1.19 for 5 mmHg increase) were associated with an increased risk of PAD.
Conclusions: A higher intake of vegetable lipids, Vitamin E and higher concentrations of serum HDL cholesterol characterize subjects free from PAD. Prospective studies are needed to verify whether this dietary pattern and/or interventions aimed at increasing HDL cholesterol exert some protective effect against PAD.