Peripheral arterial disease and ankle-brachial pressure index as predictors of mortality in residents of Metlika County, Slovenia.Croat Med J. 2006 Apr; 47(2):327-34.CM
To test how the presence of peripheral arterial disease predicted mortality of middle-aged and elderly residents of Metlika county, a rural area in southeastern Slovenia.
In 1987, we interviewed and examined a representative cohort of 646 subjects aged 45-80 years at inclusion without overt coronary or cerebrovascular disease, for cardiovascular risk factors and measured the ankle-brachial pressure index (ABPI). Peripheral arterial disease was defined as ABPI<0.90. The subjects were followed up 15 years or until death. All-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality were assessed and compared between subjects with and without peripheral arterial disease in a multivariate model.
There were 580 subjects with normal ABPI and 66 subjects with peripheral arterial disease, among which 49 were asymptomatic and 17 had intermittent claudication. Because subjects with peripheral arterial disease were on average 10 years older than those without peripheral arterial disease, the mere presence of peripheral arterial disease was not an independent predictor of mortality. However, there was a significant interaction of peripheral arterial disease with age, with a more pronounced adverse prognostic effect of peripheral arterial disease in younger than in older age groups. For a 55-year-old subject with peripheral arterial disease, the hazard ratio of dying from any cause in the follow-up period was 2.44 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15-4.96) in comparison to an age-matched subject without peripheral arterial disease, but at 75 years of age, the hazard ratio decreased to only 0.71 (95% CI, 0.46-1.09). For cardiovascular mortality, the hazard ratio in the presence of peripheral arterial disease was 6.05 (95% CI, 1.87-16.27) at 55 years and 0.92 (95% CI, 0.54-1.52) at 75 years. Among patients with peripheral arterial disease, each decrement of ABPI at inclusion by 0.10 significantly increased the cardiovascular mortality after 15 years by 30% (P = 0.038).
Peripheral arterial disease, even asymptomatic, is an important predictor of adverse cardiovascular prognosis in relatively young patients. Reduced ABPI is a strong, independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality in all patients with peripheral arterial disease.