Objectives: To describe the risk-factor profile and cardiovascular comorbidity of asymptomatic peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD).
Design: A cross-sectional survey. Asymptomatic PAOD was defined as an ankle-brachial pressure index < 0.95, measured on two consecutive occasions, without intermittent claudication. Logistic regression analyses were performed to investigate independent associations between age, gender, smoking status, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, hypercholesterolaemia, physical activity, a family history of cardiovascular disease, the occurrence of ischaemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease (CeVD) and asymptomatic PAOD.
Setting: 18 general practices in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands.
Subjects: A total of 3650 subjects, aged 40-78 years.
Main results: Asymptomatic PAOD was present in 8.6% (n = 314) and symptomatic disease in 3.8% (n = 138) of the participants. Age, smoking status, hypertension, and diabetes were significantly associated with asymptomatic PAOD. The ratio of asymptomatic to symptomatic PAOD was higher among the younger age groups. Male gender, hypertension and smoking status were stronger associated with symptomatic PAOD compared with asymptomatic PAOD. Asymptomatic subjects had more IHD and CeVD comorbidity compared with the healthy population.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the risk-factor profile and cardiovascular comorbidity of asymptomatic subjects is comparable to claudicants. Preventive efforts could be made to diminish the influence of especially smoking, diabetes and hypertension in asymptomatic subjects.