New data on the epidemiology of peripheral artery disease (PAD) are available, and they should be integrated with previous data. We provide an updated, integrated overview of the epidemiology of PAD, a focused literature review was conducted on the epidemiology of PAD. The PAD results were grouped into symptoms, diagnosis, prevalence, and incidence both in the United States and globally, risk factors, progression, coprevalence with other atherosclerotic disease, and association with incident cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The most common symptom of PAD is intermittent claudication, but noninvasive measures, such as the ankle-brachial index, show that asymptomatic PAD is several times more common in the population than intermittent claudication. PAD prevalence and incidence are both sharply age-related, rising >10% among patients in their 60s and 70s. With aging of the global population, it seems likely that PAD will be increasingly common in the future. Prevalence seems to be higher among men than women for more severe or symptomatic disease. The major risk factors for PAD are similar to those for coronary and cerebrovascular disease, with some differences in the relative importance of factors. Smoking is a particularly strong risk factor for PAD, as is diabetes mellitus, and several newer risk markers have shown independent associations with PAD. PAD is strongly associated with concomitant coronary and cerebrovascular diseases. After adjustment for known cardiovascular disease risk factors, PAD is associated with an increased risk of incident coronary and cerebrovascular disease morbidity and mortality.
Keywords: ankle brachial index; intermittent claudication; peripheral artery disease; prognosis.
© 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.