Lower-income People More Prone to Peripheral Artery Disease

July 23, 2014
Jackie Syrop

Americans with the lower income and education levels may be at a significantly higher risk for peripheral artery disease, according to a new analysis.

Americans with the lowest incomes may be at a significantly higher risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD), according to an analysis of data from 6,800 people with PAD who participated in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2004.

The study showed an association between socioeconomic level and PAD but did not prove cause and effect.

“Our finding highlights the need to focus on education and advocacy efforts for these at-risk populations,” Reena Pande, MD, MSc, co-author of the study and an associate physician in the Cardiovascular Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said in a statement.

People with the lowest income levels were more than twice as likely to have PAD as those with the highest income and education levels, Pande said. The findings highlight the need to focus on education and advocacy efforts for these at-risk populations.

Dr. Pande said a dedicated approach to PAD awareness efforts was needed, and that research and treatment strategies should focus on individuals of low socioeconomic levels who are most likely to be affected by PAD.

“In the evaluation and implementation of new therapies or treatment strategies, we must consider that not only may differences in outcomes arise from socioeconomic differences, but we must also develop strategies that facilitate access to these beneficial treatments to reach all segments of the population equally,” she said.

The study was published online in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.