OBJECTIVE: A population-based point-prevalence study was conducted to determine the prevalence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in Sweden, with special attention to critical limb ischemia and sex differences.
METHODS: An age-standardized randomly selected population sample of 8000 women and men, aged 60 to 90 years, from four different regions in Sweden was invited to participate. The sample had the same age and gender distribution as the Swedish population in this age group. Participating subjects completed questionnaires on medical history, present medication, and symptoms, and their ankle-brachial index (ABI) was measured. Subjects were analyzed for presence of PAD according to reported symptoms and an ABI<0.9.
RESULTS: A total of 5080 subjects were included, giving a participation rate of 64%. The prevalence of any PAD, asymptomatic PAD, intermittent claudication, and severe limb ischemia was, respectively, 18% (95% confidence interval [CI], 16% to 20%) 11% (9% to 13%), 7% (6.5 to 7%) and 1.2% (1% to 1.5%). Women had a higher prevalence than men when PAD was diagnosed with ABI only; that is, asymptomatic PAD (12.6% vs 9.4%, P=.03) and severe limb ischemia (1.5% vs 0.8%, P<.008). The prevalence of any PAD was 7.9% in the age group 60 to 65 years and increased to 47.2% among the age group 85 to 90 years. Severe limb ischemia occurred in 0.3% in the youngest age group, was highest in the age group 80 to 84 years at 3.3%, and declined to 2.5% among the oldest. The prevalence of PAD differed between regions (P<.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: PAD is common in Sweden, and almost a fifth of all elderly individuals have some stage of this disease. Women are more often afflicted than men. The prevalence of severe ischemia, as a measure of critical limb ischemia, is about 1% the population.
Elsevier, 2007. Vol. 45, no 6, 1185-1191 p.