Lifestyle and dietary risk factors for peripheral artery disease Academic Article uri icon


  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD) usually refers to ischemia of the lower limb vessels. Currently, the estimated number of cases in the world is 202 million. PAD is the third leading cause of atherosclerotic cardiovascular morbidity. The measurement of the ankle-brachial index (ABI) is recommended as a first-line noninvasive test for screening and diagnosis of PAD. An ABI <0.90 is an independent predictor of cardiovascular events and this measurement is useful to identify patients at moderate to high risk of cardiovascular disease. However, there is insufficient evidence to assess the benefits and harms of screening for PAD with the ABI in asymptomatic adults. Lifestyle modifications, including smoking cessation, dietary changes and physical activity, are currently the most cost-effective interventions. Inverse associations with PAD have been reported for some subtypes of dietary fats, fiber, antioxidants (vitamins E and C), folate, vitamins B6, B12 and D, flavonoids, and fruits and vegetables. A possible inverse association between better adherence to the Mediterranean diet and the risk of symptomatic PAD has also been reported in a large randomized clinical trial. Therefore, a Mediterranean-style diet could be effective in the primary and secondary prevention of PAD, although further experimental studies are needed to better clarify this association.ā€‚ā€‚(Circ Jā€‚2014; 78: 553-559).

publication date

  • 2014