Lead in Apparently Healthy Men and Women: Results of the WNY Health Study

Wednesday, 14 July 2010: 8:50 AM

Karol Rejman, PhD, FNP
School of Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Program, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

Learning Objective 1: Identify risk factors for developing lower extremity arterial disease (LEAD)

Learning Objective 2: Discuss the nursing implications of these research findings

Purpose: To determine the prevalence of lower extremity arterial disease among the participants of the Western New York (WNY) Health Study, a community based study.
Methods: The WNY Health Study is a community-based study originally performed to investigate the risk factors for myocardial infarction. Our study recalled the controls from the original study, who were free from heart disease or type 2 diabetes at baseline (approximately 8-10 years ago). We recalled 1455 participants of the original study. 451 participants of this study were randomly selected to obtain ankle-brachial indexes. The participants also completed questionnaires on physical activity, diet, alcohol use, and smoking. Anthropometric measures were also obtained as well as physical measures such as blood pressure. Laboratory specimens were obtained as well.
Results: The prevalence of lower extremity arterial disease (LEAD was defined as an ankle-brachial index < or = 0.90) was 7.56% in these apparently healthy middle-aged community dwelling participants. LEAD was associated with ever-smoking, white blood cell count, ethnicity (non-white), hypertension and age. A logistic regression model was developed to predict the disease.
Conclusion: LEAD was found in 7.56% of apparently healthy men and women participants of a community-based study. The results show the importance of nurses being aware of the risk factors for disease, screening for the disease, and assisting their patients in implementing health promotion behaviors.