Ethnic differences in peripheral vascular disease

A Makin, S Silverman, Gregory Lip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


The wide variation in the way coronary artery disease (CAD) affects different ethnic groups and the associated risk factor profiles of these groups have been extensively studied, but ethnic differences in the clinical manifestations of peripheral vascular disease (PVD) have been relatively neglected. The aim of the present review is to provide an overview of PVD in different ethnic groups and to explore possible pathophysiological factors accounting for these differences. Atherosclerotic PVD is generally less prevalent in Indo-Asians and Afro-Caribbeans than in caucasians, despite the 'classical' risk factors being as prevalent, if not more so, suggesting the possibility of as yet unidentified risk factors in these groups. Angiographic and microscopic evidence suggests that patients of African or Afro-Caribbean origin suffer from a different pattern of PVD, which primarily affects the distal arteries. In contrast, Indo-Asians tend to suffer from thromboangiitis obliterans (Buerger's disease) far more frequently than other ethnic groups; thus, their arterial disease appears to present much earlier and with greater severity. However, if this sub-category of patient is excluded, they seem to suffer much less from 'simple' atherosclerotic disease than their caucasian counterparts. Despite a higher prevalence of diabetes among Indo-Asians, the prevalence of intermittent claudication is considerably less in this ethnic group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-8
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Practice
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2002


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