Why is it important to identify patients with claudication?
PAD affects more than 10 million Americans, and its prevalence is increasing. PAD is an important marker for many other serious conditions, including coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, aneurysms, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension. Patients with PAD have a 4- to 6-fold increased cardiovascular mortality compared to age-matched controls. The mortality rate for patients with claudication may be 75% at 15 years after diagnosis of PAD. Early diagnosis of the disease gives patients the chance to modify their atherosclerotic risk factors and to reduce their risk of coronary and carotid artery disease.