Prevalence of peripheral arterial disease: persistence of excess risk in former smokers

B. Fowler, K. Jamrozik, P. Norman, Y. Allen

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the age-standardised prevalence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and associated risk factors, particularly smoking.Method: Design: Cross-sectional survey of a randomly selected population. Setting: Metropolitan area of Perth, Western Australia. Participants: Men aged between 65-83 years.Results: The adjusted response fraction was 77.2%. Of 4,470 men assessed, 744 were identified as having PAD by the Edinburgh Claudication Questionnaire and/or the ankle-brachial index of systolic blood pressure, yielding an age-standardised prevalence of PAD of 15.6% (95% confidence intervals (CI): 14.5%, 16.6%). The main risk factors identified in univariate analyses were increasing age, smoking current (OR=3.9, 95% CI 2.9-5.1) or former (OR=2.0, 95% CI 1.6-2.4), physical inactivity (OR=1.4, 95% CI 1.2-1.7), a history of angina (OR=2.2, 95% CI 1.8-2.7) and diabetes mellitus (OR=2.1, 95% CI 1.7-2.6). The multivariate analysis showed that the highest relative risk associated with PAD was current smoking of 25 or more cigarettes daily (OR=7.3, 95% CI 4.2-12.8). In this population, 32% of PAD was attributable to current smoking and a further 40% was attributable to past smoking by men who did not smoke currently.Conclusions: This large observational study shows that PAD is relatively common in older, urban Australian men. In contrast with its relationship to coronary disease and stroke, previous smoking appears to have a long legacy of increased risk of PAD.Implications: This research emphasises the importance of smoking as a preventable cause of PAD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-224
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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