Atherosclerosis is a progressive, disseminated condition that affects all the vascular beds. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a manifestation of atherosclerosis, measured non-invasively in the legs by ankle-brachial index (ABI) is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Though several studies in the western industrialised countries have shown that PAD is widely prevalent in the general older population at risk, not much data are available in the South East Asian developing countries. We have conducted an epidemiological survey on the prevalence of PAD in high-risk patients at an urban hospital in Malaysia. A total of 301 consecutive patients aged 32-90 years were recruited during their follow-up clinic visits for established cardiovascular disease, ischaemic stroke or diabetes mellitus > or = 5 years. All participants underwent ABI measurement and were subjected to the Edinburgh claudication questionnaire to assess leg symptoms. The prevalence of PAD in our high-risk population was 23%, of which only 27% were symptomatic with the classical intermittent claudication. All the patients with PAD were diagnosed at the time of the study. PAD was found in 33% of patients with pre-existent cardiovascular disease, 28% in patients with ischaemic stroke and 24% in diabetic patients. PAD was also highly prevalent among the younger patients. Our study has shown that PAD is highly prevalent among high-risk Malaysian patients and is not necessarily a disease of older age. Only 27% of these patients were symptomatic. All the subjects with PAD were diagnosed at the time of the study, which would suggest it is an unrecognised and underdiagnosed condition, even in patients with atherosclerotic risk factors.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||International Journal of Clinical Practice|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|