PAD incidence rates rising worldwide

The global incidence rate of peripheral artery disease (PAD) increased 24% from 2000 to 2010, according to a study published in The Lancet.

The researchers performed a systematic review of literature on the prevalence of PAD, which included 34 community-based studies published since 1997 that identified PAD using the ankle-brachial index.

“We used epidemiological modeling to define age-specific and sex-specific prevalence rates in high-income countries and in low-income or middle-income countries and combined them with UN population numbers for 2000 and 2010 to estimate the global prevalence of peripheral artery disease,” the authors wrote in the study abstract.

The researchers estimated that more than a quarter of a billion people worldwide have PAD, and 70% of affected individuals live in low-to-middle income regions. However, high-income regions also saw a 13% increase in PAD prevalence during the 10-year period, with the majority of the cases occurring in high-income European regions. The researchers also noted that there was a higher prevalence of men with PAD in wealthier regions compared with men in poorer areas, but there was a higher prevalence of women with PAD in poorer areas.

According to the authors, longer life expectancies and changing lifestyles are contributing to the rise in PAD rates, and there was a 35% increase in cases involving patients older than 80 years.

“In the 21st century, peripheral artery disease has become a global problem,” the authors wrote in the study abstract. “Governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector …need to address the social and economic consequences, and assess the best strategies for optimum treatment and prevention of this disease.”

For more information:

Fowkes GR. Lancet. 2013. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61249-0.

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