African Americans and Peripheral Arterial Disease: A Review Article. 

Ghidei, et al. ISRN Vascular Medicine. 2012



Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)—atherosclerosis of the abdominal aorta and arteries of the lower extremities—affects 12 million Americans. African Americans (AAs) are more than twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to suffer from PAD. When compared to non-Hispanic whites with PAD, AAs with PAD have more severe disease and a greater reduction in walking distance, speed, and/or stair climbing. AAs with PAD are at increased risk for disease progression and worsening lower limb function. Reasons for the higher risk for disease progression have not been defined. One potential modifiable risk is a lower level of physical activity. Lower levels of physical activity are more common among African American seniors. Walking is a common type of physical activity. The benefits of walking therapy are only realized if the patient adheres to such therapy. Efforts are needed to increase walking in AAs with PAD. Additionally, risk factor management is key to reducing adverse events in AAs with PAD-yet few studies have targeted this high-risk group. In this paper, we discuss the management of PAD in AAs. Identifying current gaps will help to inform clinicians, researchers, and policy makers on next steps in identifying innovative approaches to increase home-based walking and reduce walking impairment in AAs with PAD.