Increased Mobility Loss in Women With Arterial Disease

Women with peripheral arterial disease experience faster functional decline than men

TUESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) have faster functional decline and increased mobility loss compared to men, according to a study published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Mary M. McDermott, M.D., from Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues assessed mobility and functionality of 380 men and women with PAD over a four-year period. Participants had to complete a six-minute walk, were assessed for mobility limitations, and had their walking velocity measured at baseline and yearly. Calf muscle characteristics were measured biannually using computed tomography.

The investigators determined that, at the four-year follow-up, women were less likely to be able to walk for six minutes continuously, more likely to develop mobility disability, had faster declines in walking velocity, and achieved a shorter distance in the six-minute walk compared to men. After adjusting for baseline sex differences in the calf muscle area, these differences were attenuated.

"Women with PAD have faster rates of functional decline than men with PAD. These differences seem to be related in part to more favorable calf muscle characteristics and lower extremity strength at baseline in men as compared with women with PAD," the authors write.

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