A new research has found link between low lifetime recreational activity (LRA) and increased risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
PAD narrows the leg arteries, reducing blood flow to the limbs.
Research co-author John P. Cooke, MD, PhD, is a professor of medicine at Falk Cardiovascular Research Center at Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, CA. Dr. Cooke noted that the relationship between LRA and the risk of developing PAD had been unknown.
"Our study is the first to reveal that a person's level of recreational activity is associated with whether or not they develop PAD," Cooke.
"We studied 1,381 patients between April 2004 and January 2008 who were referred to either Stanford or Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City for elective coronary angiography. Our goal was to understand what environmental or genetic factors increased the risk for PAD. In the current study, we wanted to know if a lifetime of recreational activity would protect against developing PAD," added Cooke.
"Our study adds important new information regarding the association of recreational activity and the prevalence of PAD. Although it is well-known that patients with PAD are sedentary, it was not known if this was a cause or an effect of PAD. Our study indicates that people who are sedentary during their lifetime are more likely to develop PAD. The LRA questionnaire may be a useful clinical screening tool for PAD risk. Based on out study, it seems likely that people who regularly engage in recreational activity (even mild exercise such as strolling) throughout their lives are much less likely to develop lifestyle-limiting and limb threatening PAD," said Cooke.
The study has been published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery.