Prevalence of intermittent claudication and its effect on mortality

Acta Med Scand. 1982;211(4):249-56. doi: 10.1111/j.0954-6820.1982.tb01939.x.


The prevalence of symptoms of intermittent claudication and their association with 5-year mortality were examined in a population study in Finland. A number of 5738 men and 5224 women, aged 30-59 years, from 4 geographic areas of the country were studied. According to a structured interview, 2.1% of the men and 1.8% of the women reported typical symptoms of intermittent claudication. Claudication was most prevalent in East Finland and among persons with agricultural occupations. The symptoms were more frequent in diabetics and persons with symptoms and signs of coronary heart disease (CHD) than in persons without these diseases. High serum cholesterol and smoking were associated with these symptoms but high blood pressure was not. The risk of death from cardiovascular causes was nearly 3-fold in men with claudication compared to men without claudication. Symptoms of chest pain and smoking increased significantly the mortality risk of male claudicants. The validity of symptoms was poorer in women than in men and they were also less reliable predictors of death in women. A small part of the effect of claudication on mortality was due to its association with conventional CHD risk factors. However, after adjusting for symptoms and signs of CHD, claudication had no independent effect on mortality in men.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Blood Pressure Determination
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Claudication / epidemiology*
  • Intermittent Claudication / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking


  • Cholesterol