Objectives: Peripheral arterial disease patients undergoing vascular surgery are known to be at risk for the occurrence of (late) cardiovascular events. Before surgery, the perioperative cardiac risk is commonly assessed using the Lee Risk Index score, a combination of 6 cardiac risk factors. This study assessed the predictive value of the Lee Risk Index for late mortality and long-term health status in patients after vascular surgery.
Methods: Between May and December 2004, data on 711 consecutive peripheral arterial disease patients undergoing vascular surgery were collected from 11 hospitals in the Netherlands. Before surgery, the Lee Risk Index was assessed in all patients. At 3-year follow-up, 149 patients died (21%) and the disease-specific Peripheral Artery Questionnaire (PAQ) was completed in 84% (n=465) of the survivors. Impaired health status according to the PAQ was defined by the lowest tertile of the PAQ summary score. Multivariable regression analyses were performed to investigate the prognostic ability of the Lee Index for mortality and impaired health status at 3-year follow-up.
Results: The Lee Risk Index proved to be an independent prognostic factor for both late mortality (1 risk factor hazard ratio (HR)=2.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-3.6; 2 risk factors HR=2.4; 95% CI, 1.4-4.0 and >or=3 risk factors HR=3.2; 95% CI, 1.7-6.2) and impaired health status at 3-year follow-up (1 risk factor odds ratio [OR]=2.0; 95% CI, 1.1-3.5; 2 risk factors OR=2.9; 95% CI, 1.6-5.2 and >or=3 risk factors OR=3.2; 95% CI, 1.3-7.5). The predominant contributing factors associated with late mortality were cerebrovascular disease, insulin-dependent diabetes, and renal insufficiency. For impaired health status, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, insulin-dependent diabetes, and renal insufficiency were the prognostic factors.
Conclusions: The preoperative Lee Risk Index is not only an important prognostic factor for in-hospital outcome but also for late mortality and impaired health status in patients with peripheral arterial disease.