Reasons for Blacks’ Higher Prevalence of Peripheral Artery Disease Remain Unexplained, Study Concludes
Blacks have a rate of peripheral artery disease, or PAD, that is three times higher than that of whites, and traditional and nontraditional risk factors do not fully explain the disparity, according to study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Reuters Health reports. The condition affects circulation in the legs and can lead to pain and difficulty walking.
For the study, researcher Joachim Ix of the University of California-San Diego and colleagues sought to determine what nontraditional risk factors could be contributing to blacks' high PAD rates. In previous studies, traditional risk factors, such as diabetes and hypertension, have failed to fully account for high rates among blacks.
Researchers studied 104 participants with PAD and a control group of 164 participants and found that factoring in the traditional risk factors and certain nontraditional risk markers, blacks were only two times as likely as whites to have the disease. The most significant contributing nontraditional risk factors were levels of fibrinogen, which is associated with clotting, and lipoprotein (a), which is involved in plaque build-up in arteries.
Ix said traditional and nontraditional risk factors together accounted for about 60% of the higher prevalence of PAD among blacks, adding, "Thus, approximately 40% of the higher prevalence remains unexplained in our study." Researchers said lifestyle and genetics could further explain the disparity (Reuters Health, 6/24).
An abstract of the study is available online.