Presentation and medical management of peripheral arterial disease in general practice: rationale, aims, design and baseline results of the PACE-PAD Study

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Neumann, Anja; Jahn, Rebecca; Diehm, Curt; Driller, Elke; Hessel, Franz; Lux, Gerald; Ommen, Oliver; Pfaff, Holger; Siebert, Uwe; Wasem, Jürgen

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Abstract Background: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is highly prevalent among individuals of higher age or those with one or more cardiovascular risk factors. Screening for PAD is recommended, since it is often linked to atherothrombotic manifestations in the coronary or carotid circulation and associated with a substantial increase in all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. We aimed to assess patients with newly diagnosed, suspected and confirmed PAD in the primary care setting with regards to clinical characteristics, diagnostic and therapeutic management (including referral to specialists), and medium-term outcomes. Methods: This was a multicentre, prospective, observational cohort study with a cross-sectional and a longitudinal part. A total of 2,781 general practitioners across Germany were cluster randomised to document five consecutive patients each in one of the strata: (1) patients with intermittent claudication (IC) or other typical PAD-related complaints (group A) or (2) patients >55 years of age with one or more risk factors (group B) for PAD (current smoking, diabetes, previous myocardial infection and/or previous stroke). Patients with confirmed PAD will be followed up for diagnostic procedures, therapy and vascular events over 18 months. Results: In group A, a total of 2,131 patients with suspected PAD (80.1% confirmed, 75.9% with referral to specialists) and in group B 9,921 patients were included (44.6% confirmed, 54.6% referral). The ankle-brachial index was calculated in 41.3% and 33.5% only. Mean age was 66.6 years (group A) and 68.4 years (group B), respectively. Vascular risk factors were prevalent in both groups, in particular smoking (group A 44.6%, group B 44.4%), hypertension (73.2 and 78.1%), hypercholesterolaemia (64.6 and 70.6%) and diabetes mellitus (41.7 and 60.6%). Concomitant atherothrombotic morbidities were frequent in both groups. In patients with the respective diseases, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, lipid-lowering and antithrombotic therapies were prescribed in group A in 96.6, 96.0, 91.1 and 89.7% and in group B in 98.3, 97.4, 94.1 and 91.2%. Conclusion: The cross-sectional part of the study indicates a substantial burden of disease in PAD patients in primary care. Treatment rates appear to have improved compared to earlier surveys. In the follow-up period, outcomes of these patients and their association with disease stages, guideline-oriented treatment or patient compliance and disease-coping strategies, among other factors, will be determined.
Keywords management
Classification Medicine, Social Medicine
Free Keywords Peripheral arterial disease; Management; Vascular risk factors; Observational study; Health care research
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 127-135
Journal Journal of Public Health, 17 (2008) 2
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10389-008-0223-8
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)
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