Peripheral Artery Disease and Its Clinical Relevance in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in the COPD and Systemic Consequences-Comorbidities Network Study

Sarah Houben-Wilkes*, Rudolf A. Joerres, Robert Bals, Frits M. E. Franssen, Sven Glaeser, Rolf Holle, Annika Karch, Armin Koch, Helgo Magnussen, Anne Obst, Holger Schulz, Martijn A. Spruit, Margarethe E. Wacker, Tobias Welte, Emiel F. M. Wouters, Claus Vogelmeier, Henrik Watz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Rationale: Knowledge about the prevalence of objectively assessed peripheral artery disease (PAD) and its clinical relevance in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is scarce.

Objectives: We aimed to: (1) assess the prevalence of PAD in COPD compared with distinct control groups; and (2) study the association between PAD and functional capacity as well as health status.

Methods: The ankle-brachial index was used to diagnose PAD (ankle-brachial index

Measurements and Main Results: A total of 2,088 patients with COPD (61.1% male; mean [SD] age, 65.3 [8.2] years, GOLD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) stages I-IV: 9.4, 42.5, 37.5, and 10.5%, respectively) were included, of which 184 patients (8.8%; GOLD stage I-IV: 5.1, 7.4, 11.1, and 9.5%, respectively, vs. 5.9% in patients with GOLD stage 0 in the COPD and Systemic Consequences-Comorbidities Network) had PAD. In the Study of Health in Pomerania, PAD ranged from 1.8 to 4.2%. Patients with COPD with PAD had a significantly shorter 6-minute-walk distance (356 [108] vs. 422 [103] m, P <0.001) and worse health status (St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire: 49.7 [20.1] vs. 42.7 [20.0] points, P <0.001; COPD Assessment Test: 19.6 [7.4] vs. 17.9 [7.4] points, P = 0.004; EuroQol-5-Dimensions visual analog scale: 51.2 [19.0] vs. 57.2 [19.6], P <0.001). Differences remained significant after correction for several confounders.

Conclusions: In a large cohort of patients with COPD, 8.8% were diagnosed with PAD, which is higher than the prevalence in control subjects without COPD. PAD was associated with a clinically relevant reduction in functional capacity and health status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2017


  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • comorbidities
  • peripheral vascular disease
  • health status
  • functional capacity
  • EQ-5D

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