Targeted screening for peripheral arterial disease in general practice: A pilot study in a high risk group

Neil Crawford Campbell, Caroline Anne McNiff, Isobel Jane Sheran, Julie Brittenden, Amanda Jane Lee, Lewis Duthie Ritchie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background Screening of high-risk groups for peripheral arterial disease has been advocated because the condition underdiagnosed and secondary prevention can reduce cardiovascular event rates.

Aim To establish the feasibility of screening for peripheral arterial disease in people aged 60 years or over with hypertension, and to estimate the potential to improve secondary preventive treatment.

Design of study Pilot study and cross-sectional survey. Setting Large general practice in north-east Scotland.

Method People aged 60 years or over with hypertension but no cardiovascular disease or diabetes were identified from computer records and invited to a screening clinic. Data were collected on ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI), preventive treatment, and risk factors.

Results Of 705 potentially eligible patients, 443 (63%) agreed to participate. Sixty-four were excluded and 364 of 379 patients (96%) attended screening. Thirty patients had peripheral arterial disease (ABPI of 0.9 or less), of whom 24 (7%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4 to 10%) were previously undiagnosed. Fifteen (50%) patients took antiplatelets, 13 (45%) had cholesterol <5mmol/l, and 16 (53%) had blood pressure below 140/85 mmHg. Twenty-two (73%) patients were nonsmokers, 14 (47%) had low-fat diets, two (7%) were physically active, and three (10%) ate recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables.

Conclusions It is feasible to screen for peripheral arterial disease in primary care, but its prevalence is lower than anticipated. There is room for improvement in secondary preventive treatment and lifestyle, so a structured programme could still have important benefits for survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-315
Number of pages5
JournalThe British Journal of General Practice
Issue number537
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • general practice
  • peripheral vascular diseases
  • pilot study
  • prevention and control
  • screening
  • coronary-heart-disease
  • primary-care patients
  • secondary prevention
  • high prevalence
  • claudication
  • population
  • management
  • clinics
  • history
  • trial


Dive into the research topics of 'Targeted screening for peripheral arterial disease in general practice: A pilot study in a high risk group'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this