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Peripheral artery disease in patients with schizophrenia as compared to controls

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2023 Mar 8;23(1):126. doi: 10.1186/s12872-023-03143-9.


BACKGROUND: Patients with schizophrenia have an increased prevalence of risk factors for peripheral artery disease (PAD) and is expected to have an increased prevalence of PAD. PAD can be detected utilizing toe-brachial index (TBI) which screens for vascular pathology proximal to the toes.

METHODS: Using a cross-sectional design, we defined the subpopulations: (1) Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia less than 2 years before inclusion (SCZ < 2), (2) Psychiatric healthy controls matched to subpopulation 1 on sex, age, and smoking status, and (3) Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia 10 or more years before inclusion (SCZ ≥ 10). TBI was calculated by dividing toe pressures by systolic brachial blood pressure, and PAD was defined by TBI < 0.70. Logistic regression analysis with PAD as outcome and sex, age, smoking status, BMI, skin temperature, diagnosis of schizophrenia, and comorbidities as explanatory variables was conducted.

RESULTS: PAD was present in 26.2% of patients diagnosed with SCZ < 2 (17 of 65) and in 18.5% of psychiatric healthy controls (12 of 65) with no statistically significant difference in prevalence rates (p = 0.29). PAD was present in 22.0% of patients diagnosed with SCZ ≥ 10 (31 of 141). In logistic regression, patients diagnosed with SCZ < 2 had an increased odds of PAD with psychiatric healthy controls as reference (Odds ratio = 2.80, 95% confidence interval 1.09-7.23, p = 0.03). The analysis was adjusted for age, sex, smoking status, BMI and comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

CONCLUSIONS: This study did not find statistically significant increased prevalence rates of PAD in patients with schizophrenia even though patients with SCZ were compared to psychiatric healthy controls using TBI. Utilizing logistic regression PAD was associated with schizophrenia diagnosis within the last 2 years, age and skin temperature. As PAD is initially asymptomatic, screening could be relevant in patients with schizophrenia if other risk factors are prevalent. Further large-scale multicenter studies are warranted to investigate schizophrenia as a potential risk factor for PAD.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: identifier NCT02885792.

PMID:36890440 | DOI:10.1186/s12872-023-03143-9

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