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Peripheral artery disease and exertional leg symptoms in diabetes patients in Ghana.

BACKGROUND: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a major health problem in diabetes patients in high-income countries, but the PAD burden in sub-Saharan Africa is largely undetermined. We studied the prevalence of PAD and exertional leg symptoms in diabetes (DM) patients in a tertiary hospital in Ghana.

METHODS: In a case control study design, 485 DM and 330 non-diabetes participants were recruited. PAD was diagnosed as Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) < 0.9. Edinburgh Claudication Questionnaire (ECQ) was used to assess exertional leg symptoms.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence of classical intermittent claudication was 10.3 % and ABI-diagnosed PAD was 26.7 %, with 3.5 % of the participants having both classic intermittent claudication and ABI-diagnosed PAD. The prevalence of exertional leg symptoms were similar in diabetes patients with and without PAD. In non-diabetes participants, intermittent claudication and rest pain were higher in PAD patients than in non-PAD participants. In multivariable logistic regression, intermittent claudication [OR (95 % CI), 3.39 (1.14 - 8.1), p < 0.05] and rest pain [4.3 (1.58 - 9.67), p < 0.001] were independently associated with PAD in non-diabetes group, and rest pain [1.71 (1.13 - 2.17), p < 0.05] was associated with PAD in all participants.

CONCLUSIONS: There is high burden of PAD and exertional leg pains in DM patients in Ghana. PAD is expressed as intermittent claudication and rest pain in non-diabetes individuals.

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