Peripheral artery disease is a coronary heart disease risk equivalent among both men and women: Results from a nationwide study

Sumeet Subherwal, Manesh R. Patel, Lars Kober, Eric D. Peterson, Deepak L. Bhatt, Gunnar H. Gislason, Anne Marie Schjerning Olsen, William S. Jones, Christian Torp-Pedersen, Emil L. Fosbol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Aims: Lower extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD) has been proposed as a coronary heart disease (CHD) risk equivalent. We aimed to examine whether PAD confers similar risk for mortality as incident myocardial infarction (MI) and whether risk differs by gender. Methods: Using nationwide Danish administrative registries (2000-2008), we identified patients aged ≥40 years with incident PAD (PAD only, n=35,628), incident PAD with a history of MI (PAD+MI, n=7029), and incident MI alone (MI alone, n=71,115). Results: Patients with PAD only tended to be younger, female, and have less comorbidity than the other groups. During follow up (median 1051 d, IQR 384-1938), we found that MI-alone patients had greater risk of adverse outcomes in the acute setting (first 90 d); however, the PAD-only and PAD+MI groups had higher long-term mortality at 7 years than those with MI alone (47.8 and 60.4 vs. 36.4%, respectively; p<0.0001). After adjustment, the PAD-only and PAD+MI groups had a higher long-term risk for mortality [hazard ratio (HR) 1.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.44-1.51; and HR 1.65, 95% CI 1.58-1.72, respectively], cardiovascular mortality (HR 1.30, 95% CI 1.26-1.34; and HR 1.71, 95% CI 1.62- 1.80, respectively), and composite of death, MI, and ischaemic stroke, 95% CI HR, 1.38, 95% CI 1.36-1.42; and HR 1.68, 95% CI 1.61-1.75, respectively). The greater long-term risks of PAD were seen for both women and men. Conclusions: Both women and men with incident PAD have greater long-term risks of total and cardiovascular mortality vs. those with incident MI. PAD should be considered a CHD risk equivalent, warranting aggressive secondary prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-325
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 14 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Coronary heart disease
  • myocardial infarction
  • peripheral artery disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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