Risk factor profiles and use of cardiovascular drug prevention in women and men with peripheral arterial disease

  1. Birgitta Sigvanta,e
  2. Katarina Wiberg-Hedmanb
  3. David Bergqvistc
  4. Olov Rolandssond
  5. Eric Wahlberge
  1. aDepartment of Surgery, Central Hospital Karlstad
  2. bDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Statistics, Central Hospital Karlstad
  3. cDepartment of Surgery, Uppsala University Hospital
  4. dDepartment of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University
  5. eDepartment of Vascular Surgery, Karolinska University Hospital and Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Birgitta Sigvant, MD, Department of Surgery, Central Hospital, Karlstad SE-651 85, Sweden Tel: +46 54 61 77 83; fax: +46 54 15 83 16; e-mail: birgitta.sigvant@liv.se


Objective To determine cardiovascular comorbidities and use of cardiovascular disease preventive drugs in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), with special attention to sex differences.

Design A cross-sectional point-prevalence study.

Patients A population sample of patients that are 60-90 years old.

Setting Primary care areas in four Swedish regions.

Main outcome measures Prevalence of PAD stages, comorbidities and medication use.

Results The prevalence of any type of PAD was 18.0% (range 16-20), of asymptomatic peripheral arterial disease (APAD) was 11.1% (range 9-13), intermittent claudication was 6.8% (range 6.5-7.1), and of critical limb ischemia (CLI) was 1.2% (range 1.0-1.5). APAD and CLI were more common in women. Statins were used by 17.5% (range 16.9-18.2), 29.4% (range 29.0-30.1), and 30.3% (range 29.9-30.8) of the patients with APAD, intermittent claudication, and CLI, respectively, and antiplatelet therapy was reported by 34.1% (range 33.7-34.3), 47.6% (range 47.3-47.9), and 60.2% (range 59.1-60.7). The odds ratio for having APAD was 1.7 (range 1.2-2.4) for women with a smoking history of 10 years in relation to nonsmokers. This association was observed only in men who had smoked for at least 30 years or more. Preventive drug use was more common in men with PAD. Compared with women they had an odds ratio of 1.3 (range 1.1-1.5) for lipid-lowering therapy, 1.3 (range 1.0-1.7) for β-blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and 1.5 (range 1.2-1.9) for antiplatelet therapy.

Conclusion The patients’ risk factor profiles differed among the PAD stages. Smoking duration already seemed to be a risk factor for women with PAD after 10 years of smoking, as compared with 30 years for men, and fewer women reported use of preventive medication. These observations may partly explain the sex differences in prevalence that were observed. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 16:39-46 © 2009 The European Society of Cardiology


  • Received April 30, 2008.
  • Accepted September 30, 2008.


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