PMID: 647300May 27, 1978

Intermittent claudication: factors determining outcome

British Medical Journal
W G HughsonI Walton


Two groups of patients were followed up for four to eight years after first referral or admission to hospital for intermittent claudication (IC) in a study of the natural history of the disease and of factors determining its outcome. In one series of 60 patients, those who stopped or reduced smoking after referral had a much improved prognosis. Thus even after the diagnosis of IC it is extremely important that patients should be encouraged to stop smoking, since this correctable factor appears to be of greater importance in determining outcome than other medical risk factors for the disease that are less amenable to treatment. In the second study, 160 patients were followed up for eight years after first hospital admission. They had a total of 480 hospital admissions and had spent 11 190 days in hospital; their life expectancy after the age of 60 was about half that of the general population. Age, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and diabetes were associated with an adverse outcome.


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