Background: Patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) have increased mortality compared with patients without PAD. Coronary artery disease (CAD) accounts for almost 75% of deaths in PAD patients. Studies suggest that PAD is underdiagnosed and atherosclerotic risk factors undertreated when compared with CAD.
Objective: To determine whether cholesterol guidelines are being met in patients with PAD and to determine whether any independent factors increase the likelihood of reaching goal low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
Design: A retrospective chart review of subjects diagnosed with PAD in 2001 at 2 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.
Measurements: Univariate analysis compares baseline characteristics between those reaching goal and those who do not. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified predictors of meeting LDL goal among PAD patients.
Results: Of 315 patients, 62% reached goal LDL. Those more likely to reach goal were older, had hypertension, and a history of CAD and stroke. Positive predictors of LDL goal were age and CAD, while smoking was a negative predictor.
Conclusion: The majority of veterans with PAD received lipid-lowering medication and achieve goal LDL, but they are more likely to do so if they are older than 70 and have a history of CAD.