Aim: Several studies have demonstrated that patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), are at an increased risk of morbidity and mortality compared with those without PAD. However, few population-based studies have addressed the prevalence of PAD and intermittent claudication (IC). We assessed the prevalence of and the factors associated with PAD and IC in the Spanish population.
Methods: A cross sectional study with 1324 participants aged 55 to 84 years randomly selected from the census was conducted in 12 Spanish regions. The presence of PAD and IC was determined by an ankle-brachial index (ABI) <0.90 in either leg and by means of the Edinburgh questionnaire, respectively, fulfilled together with a detailed past history. All participants had blood pressure, body mass index, glycemia, and lipid profile measured.
Results: The response rate was 63.9% (846/1 324). ABI prevalence of PAD was 8.03% The prevalence of symptoms of definite or atypical IC was 6%. Subjects with an ABI <0.9 were more likely to be older, men, diabetics, current smokers, with coronary heart disease, with higher systolic pressure and with higher triglyceride levels than participants with ABI 0.9.
Conclusions: ESTIME study confirms the high prevalence of asymptomatic PAD, and its relation with typical cardiovascular risk factors. ABI provides early diagnosis before claudication symptoms in a high proportion of patients. ABI could contribute to developing early prevention programmes.