A person’s age and gender can affect the prevalence of certain types of peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), which can lead to heart attack, stroke and even amputation of the limbs.
PVD is a circulation disorder that affects blood vessels outside of the heart and brain, particularly the veins and arteries that supply blood to the arms and legs.
The results revealed that women, especially younger women, have a significantly higher prevalence of peripheral artery disease than men.
“These findings point to very important differences between women and men, and older and younger individuals, when it comes to PVD,” said one of the researchers, Jeffrey S. Berger, associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Centre in New York, US.
“Sex-specific guidelines for PVD are important, and we are starting to realise that women and men need to be approached differently,” Berger added.
In addition, diabetes was found to be a major risk factor for developing PVD, even in patients without heart disease.
The team used data collected from more than 3.6 million individuals and found that people with both diabetes and coronary heart disease the risk of developing PVD increases.
However, the researchers cautioned that the findings might not represent PVD prevalence in all men and women, or disease risk in people with diabetes.
The findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 65th Annual Scientific Session in Chicago, US.