The Association Between Ankle-Brachial Index and Daily Patterns of Physical Activity: Results From the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2024 Feb 1;79(2):glad200. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glad200.


Background: Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is associated with lower physical activity but less is known about its association with daily patterns of activity. We examined the cross-sectional association between ankle-brachial index (ABI) and objectively measured patterns of physical activity among Hispanic/Latino adults.

Methods: We analyzed data from 7 688 participants (aged 45-74 years) in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. ABI was categorized as low (≤0.90, indicating PAD), borderline low (0.91-0.99), normal (1.00-1.40), and high (>1.40, indicating incompressible ankle arteries). Daily physical activity metrics derived from accelerometer data included: log of total activity counts (LTAC), total log-transformed activity counts (TLAC), and active-to-sedentary transition probability (ASTP). Average differences between ABI categories in physical activity, overall and by 4-hour time-of-day intervals, were assessed using linear regression and mixed-effects models, respectively.

Results: In Hispanic/Latino adults, 5.3% and 2.6% had low and high ABIs, respectively. After adjustment, having a low compared to a normal ABI was associated with lower volume (LTAC = -0.13, p < .01; TLAC = -74.4, p = .04) and more fragmented physical activity (ASTP = 1.22%, p < .01). Having a low ABI was linked with more fragmented physical activity after 12 pm (p < .01). Having a high ABI was associated with lower volumes of activity (TLAC = -132.0, p = .03).

Conclusions: Having a low or high ABI is associated with lower and more fragmented physical activity in Hispanic/Latino adults. In adults with low ABI, physical activity is more fragmented in the afternoon to evening. Longitudinal research is warranted to expand these findings to guide targeted interventions for PAD or incompressible ankle arteries.

Keywords: Ankle–brachial index; Hispanics; Latinos; Peripheral artery disease; Physical activity.

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Brachial Index*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease*
  • Public Health
  • Risk Factors