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Ambrosetti M., Salerno M., Laporta A., Pedretti R. F. E.
Division of Cardiology, IRCCS Fondazione S. Maugeri, Tradate, Varese, Italy
Aim. The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, a clustering of cardiovascular risk factors whose underlying pathophysiology is related to insulin resistance, was estimated in patients with intermittent claudication referred to a short-course intensive rehabilitation program focused on physical training. Improvements in walking distance at the end of the program were also compared among patients with and without the syndrome.
Methods. The metabolic syndrome was documented among 34 (39%) out of 87 enrolled patients, without significant differences between those with and without the syndrome concerning sex (males 91% vs 92% respectively, P=0.816), age (64±8 vs 65±7 years, P=0.54), coronary heart disease (44% vs 32%, P=0.365), localization of peripheral arterial disease, and impairment of walking capacity as evaluated by constant treadmill test (initial claudication distance (ICD) 156±93 vs 176±126 m, P=0.428; absolute claudication distance (ACD) 429±324 vs 409±269 m, P=0.756).
Results. At the end of the program, both ICD and ACD significantly improved without any of significant differences between the two groups (ICD +152% vs +174% respectively, P=0.518; ACD +112% vs +177%, P=0.053).
Conclusion. Metabolic syndrome is frequent among patients with intermittent claudication and is not associated with poor response to physical training. Our data highlight the need for considering vascular rehabilitation in these patients in order to both improve walking capacity and minimize cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.