COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

The relevance of different methods of calculating the ankle-brachial index: the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis

Matthew A Allison, Victor Aboyans, Tanya Granston, Mary M McDermott, Aruna Kamineni, Hanyu Ni, Michael H Criqui
American Journal of Epidemiology 2010 February 1, 171 (3): 368-76
20042436
The authors aimed to determine differences in the prevalence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and its associations with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, using different methods of calculating the ankle-brachial index (ABI). Using measurements taken in the bilateral brachial, dorsalis pedis, and posterior tibial arteries, the authors calculated ABI in 3 ways: 1) with the lowest ankle pressure (dorsalis pedis artery or posterior tibial artery) ("ABI-LO"), 2) with the highest ankle pressure ("ABI-HI"), and 3) with the mean of the ankle pressures ("ABI-MN"). For all 3 methods, the index ABI was the lower of the ABIs calculated from the left and right legs. PAD was defined as an ABI less than 0.90. Among 6,590 subjects from a multiethnic cohort (baseline examination: 2000-2002), in comparison with ABI-HI, the relative prevalence of PAD was 3.95 times higher in women and 2.74 times higher in men when ABI-LO was used. The relative magnitudes of the associations were largest between PAD and both subclinical atherosclerosis and CVD risk factors when ABI-HI was used, except when risk estimates for PAD were less than 1.0, where the largest relative magnitudes of association were found using ABI-LO. PAD prevalence and its associations with CVD risk factors and subclinical atherosclerosis measures depend on the ankle pressure used to compute the ABI.

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