People under 60 may be at risk for a serious leg ailment called premature peripheral vascular disease (PVD) if they show certain risk factors, researchers say.
Those risk factors include a history of coronary artery disease and elevated levels of a clotting protein called fibrinogen in the blood.
PVD, which involves reduced blood flow to the arteries outside of the heart and brain (generally in the legs and feet), can have serious consequences, including limb loss and death.
The research study
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, analysed data from nearly 2 500 people younger than 60 and a similar number of people over 60. About two percent of the younger people had PVD, compared to 12 percent of the older group.
The study also found that coronary artery disease and elevated serum fibrinogen levels (measured using blood tests) were strong predictors of PVD in the younger people. Doctors need to be aware of these two important risk factors for PVD in people under age 60, the study authors said.
Predictors of PVD
Among those over age 60, chronic renal failure was strongly associated with PVD, the study found.
Other predictors of PVD, regardless of age, are male gender, smoking and hypertension.
The findings were published in the August issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery. - (HealthDayNews, August 2006)
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