Ankle-Brachial Index Linked to Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Both low and high ABI are associated with incident cardiovascular disease events
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Having a low or high ankle-brachial index (ABI) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to research published in the Oct. 26 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Michael H. Criqui, M.D., of the University of California San Diego in La Jolla, and colleagues analyzed data from 6,647 white, African-American, Hispanic, and Chinese adults aged 45 to 84 years. All were free of clinical CVD at baseline and underwent assessment of ABI and other factors.

The researchers found that, over a mean follow-up of 5.3 years, having a low (below 1.00) or high (1.40 or greater) ABI was associated with incident CVD events. After adjusting for a number of risk factors, hazard ratios were 1.77 and 1.85 for low and high ABIs, respectively. Adding ABI to other risk factors significantly improved risk discrimination.

"In a primary prevention population, both a low ABI, diagnostic for peripheral artery disease, and a high ABI, indicative of medial arterial calcification and possible peripheral artery disease, were associated with incident CVD events. A high ABI was more strongly associated with stroke than was a low ABI," the authors conclude. "Given the simplicity and low cost of measuring the ABI, cost-effectiveness analyses for the use of ABI in targeted groups should be a research priority."

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