Background: The primary aim of the present study was to determine the cumulative effect of a set of peripheral artery disease (PAD) risk factors among age, gender and race/ethnicity groups in the United States.
Methods: We examined data from a nationally representative sample of the US population (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [NHANES], 1999-2004). A total of 7058 subjects 40 years or older that completed the interview, medical examination and had ankle-brachial index (ABI) measurements were included in this study.
Results: The age- and sex-standardized prevalence of PAD was 4.6 % (standard error [SE] 0.3%).The highest prevalence of PAD was observed among elderly, non-Hispanic Blacks and women. In a multivariable age-, gender- and race/ethnicity-adjusted model hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and smoking were retained as PAD risk factors (p ≤ 0.05 for each). The odds of PAD increased with each additional risk factor present from a non-significant 1.5-fold increase (O.R 1.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.9-2.6) in the presence of one risk factor, to more than ten-fold (OR 10.2, 95% CI 6.4-16.3) in the presence of three or more risk factors. In stratified analysis, non-Hispanic Blacks (OR 14.7, 95% CI 2.1-104.1) and women (OR 18.6, 95% CI 7.1-48.7) were particularly sensitive to this cumulative effect.
Conclusion: In a large nationally representative sample, an aggregate set of risk factors that included diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, hypertension and smoking significantly increase the likelihood of prevalent PAD. A cumulative risk factor analysis highlights important susceptibility differences among different population groups and provides additional evidence to redefine screening strategies in PAD.
Keywords: NHANES; Peripheral arterial disease; risk assessment; traditional cardiovascular risk factors.
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