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International Angiology 2011 August;30(4):335-41

Copyright © 2011 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Association between symptoms of chronic venous disease in the lower extremities and cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged women

Auzky O., Lanska V., Pitha J., Roztocil K.

Center for Cardiovascular Research, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Videnska, Praha, Czech Republic


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AIM: The association between chronic venous disease (CVD) and atherosclerosis has been intensively investigated. Because data regarding cardiovascular disease in women are sparse, we evaluated the potential association between the symptoms of CVD and cardiovascular risk factors including markers of preclinical atherosclerosis in middle-aged women.
METHODS: A questionnaire for chronic lower limb venous insufficiency was completed by 902 women, aged 45-54 years, from the general population. At the same time, all women were examined for the presence of cardiovascular risk factors, including the ankle/brachial systolic blood pressure index (ABI) and carotid intima media thickness of the common carotid arteries measured by ultrasound. Differences in cardiovascular risk factors and markers of preclinical atherosclerosis between women with and without symptoms of CVD were evaluated.
RESULTS:Symptoms (cramps, aching, edema, disturbance of sleep) suggestive of CVD in the lower extremities were reported by 606 (67.2%) women and 114 (12.6%) reported that those symptoms were severe enough to limit their usual daily activities. A higher prevalence of ABI of less than 0.91 was observed in women with any (P=0.005) or severe (P=0.029) CVD symptoms. A significantly higher prevalence of the following were observed in women with any or severe CVD symptoms: coronary artery disease, history of diabetes mellitus, increased body mass index, waist circumference, serum triglycerides, serum C-reactive protein and lower serum HDL cholesterol.
CONCLUSION: CVD symptoms were strongly associated with a higher prevalence of pathological values of ABI and several other manageable cardiovascular risk factors. These findings support the data that chronic venous disease might also indicate increased risk for atherosclerosis.

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