Rehabilitative Exercise Reduced the Impact of Peripheral Artery Disease on Vascular Outcomes in Elderly Patients with Claudication: A Three-Year Single Center Retrospective Study
Rodríguez Borrego, M.A.
López Soto, Pablo Jesús
Peripheral artery disease
Vascular surgical procedures
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The study retrospectively evaluated the association between rehabilitative outcomes and risk of peripheral revascularizations in elderly peripheral artery disease (PAD) patients with claudication. Eight-hundred thirty-five patients were enrolled. Ankle-brachial index (ABI) and maximal walking speed (Smax) were measured at baseline and at discharge from a structured home-based rehabilitation program. For the analysis, patients were divided according to a baseline ABI value (severe: ≤0.5; moderate: ≥0.5) and according to hemodynamic or functional rehabilitative response (responder: ABI ≥ 0.10 and/or Smax > 0.5 km/h). Three-year outcomes were collected from the regional registry. According to the inclusion criteria (age 60–80, ABI < 0.80; program completion) 457 patients, 146 severe and 311 moderate, were studied. The whole population showed significant functional and hemodynamic improvements at discharge, with 56 revascularizations and 69 deaths at follow-up. Compared to the moderate group, the severe group showed a higher rate of revascularizations (17% vs. 10%, p < 0.001) and deaths (29% and 8%, respectively; p < 0.001). However, patients with severe PAD who were ABI responders after rehabilitation showed less revascularizations than non-responders (13% vs. 21%; hazard ratio (HR): 0.52) and were not different from patients with moderate disease (9%). Superimposable rates were observed for Smax responders (13% vs. 21%; HR: 0.55; moderate 10%). In conclusion, elderly patients with severe PAD empowered by better rehabilitation outcomes showed lower rates of peripheral revascularizations and deaths that were comparable to patients with moderate PAD.