Women with chronic kidney disease are at greater risk overall of peripheral artery disease than men, a research team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania reported. The findings, part of the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study that assessed risk factors for adverse cardiac events in CKD patients, were presented at the recent American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2015 in Orlando, Florida.
The CRIC study aimed to determine whether a patient’s age and gender affect the epidemiology of peripheral artery disease (PAD) in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The data showed that the risk of developing PAD is more prevalent in women compared to men, and that while age more directly impacted men, the PAD risk in women was constant from year to year and started earlier in life. By the time women and men reach their 70s, however, their PAD risk was relatively comparable.
Specifically, the data revealed that PAD risk among women was 1.5 times greater than that in men before the age of 70, and that women with CKD have a higher incidence of PAD: 23% in comparison to 14% in men.
“We set out to determine whether there were gender differences in peripheral artery disease in patients with CKD, and found that women had an increased risk compared to men; however, this relationship was modified by age,” the study’s lead author, Grace Wang, MD, an assistant professor of Surgery and Radiology, and director of the Vascular Laboratory at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, said in a recent news release. “The analysis showed that women were more at risk for PAD early on, starting around age 40, but the risk in men became greater as they aged.”
Researchers recommended further studies to better assess the impact of earlier PAD detection in women as a way to prevent or proactively treat peripheral artery disease, a condition in which plaque, made up of fat, cholesterol and other blood substances, builds in the arteries and leads to atherosclerosis. Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries, limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to vital organs in the body.