Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a manifestation of atherosclerosis below the bifurcation of the abdominal aorta. PAD increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and associated mortality. Little is known about the prevalence of PAD in middle-aged persons with intellectual disabilities (ID).We determined the prevalence of PAD among people with ID aged 40-59 years. Independent associations between PAD and patient and care characteristics were explored.A multi-center cross-sectional observational study was conducted in four care providing agencies for people with ID in the Netherlands. We included 407 participants with mild to profound ID aged 40-59 years, receiving medical care from specialized ID physicians. The ankle-brachial index was used to diagnose PAD.The overall prevalence of PAD was 8.4% (95% CI=6.0-11.4%), with no significant differences between age groups 40-49 years (8.2%) and 50-59 years (8.5%). None of the participants had been diagnosed with PAD prior to this study and only one participant with PAD had PAD-related symptoms (1/34). Wheelchair dependence was independently associated with PAD (OR=5.43).Prevalence of PAD among people with ID is high, which is especially remarkable in age group 40-49 years. Physicians need to be aware of this high prevalence of PAD and the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in (young) people with ID.

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Research in Developmental Disabilities
Department of General Practice

Zaal-Schuller, I., Goorhuis, A. E. M., Bock-Sinot, A., Claassen, I. H. M., Echteld, M., & Evenhuis, H. (2015). The prevalence of peripheral arterial disease in middle-aged people with intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 36, 526–531. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2014.10.021