Asymptomatic peripheral arterial disease (PAD) can be easily identified using the ankle-brachial index (ABI). This study was designed to investigate the benefits of performing ABI in patients aged 50 - 70 years. A random sample of 107 patients was chosen and data on gender, age, risk factors and laboratory tests were collected and the ABI measured. Twenty (19%) patients were found to have PAD. Smoking, high total cholesterol, high triglycerides and diabetes mellitus were shown to be associated with a low ABI and the presence of PAD. Age, diabetes and smoking were identified as the strongest predictors of PAD. Having more risk factors for PAD also predicted a lower ABI. These results suggest that measuring ABI is not necessary in patients aged 50 - 70 years if they only have one risk factor, with the exception of patients with diabetes and those who smoke. In contrast, measuring ABI seems to be useful for patients with multiple risk factors for PAD, although additional studies are required.