JOURNAL ARTICLE

The Walking Impairment Questionnaire stair-climbing score predicts mortality in men and women with peripheral arterial disease

Atul Jain, Kiang Liu, Luigi Ferrucci, Michael H Criqui, Lu Tian, Jack M Guralnik, Huimin Tao, Mary M McDermott
Journal of Vascular Surgery 2012, 55 (6): 1662-73.e2
22608041

OBJECTIVE: The Walking Impairment Questionnaire (WIQ) measures self-reported walking distance, walking speed, and stair-climbing ability in men and women with lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD). We determined whether poorer WIQ scores are associated with higher all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in individuals with and without PAD.

METHODS: We identified 1048 men and women with and without PAD from Chicago-area medical centers. Participants completed the WIQ at baseline and were monitored for a median of 4.5 years. Cox proportional hazards models were used to relate baseline WIQ scores with death, adjusting for age, sex, race, the ankle-brachial index (ABI), comorbidities, and other covariates.

RESULTS: During follow-up, 461 participants (44.0%) died, including 158 deaths from CVD. PAD participants in the lowest baseline quartile of the WIQ stair-climbing scores had higher all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 1.70; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-2.66, P = .02) and higher CVD mortality (hazard ratio, 3.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.30-7.47, P = .01) compared with those with the highest baseline WIQ stair-climbing score. Among PAD participants, there were no significant associations of lower baseline WIQ distance or speed scores with rates of all-cause mortality (P = .20 and P = .07 for trend, respectively) or CVD mortality (P = .51 and P = .33 for trend, respectively). Among non-PAD participants there were no significant associations of lower baseline WIQ stair-climbing, distance, or speed score with rates of all-cause mortality (P = .94, P = .69, and P = .26, for trend, respectively) or CVD mortality (P = .28, P = .68, and P = .78, for trend, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Among participants with PAD, lower WIQ stair-climbing scores are associated with higher all-cause and CVD mortality, independently of the ABI and other covariates.

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