Diet is associated with ankle-brachial index, inflammation, and ambulation in patients with intermittent claudication

Andrew W. Gardner, Polly S. Montgomery, Ming Wang, Biyi Shen, Ana I. Casanegra, Federico Silva-Palacios, Allen W. Knehans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The aims of this investigation were to determine whether the daily dietary intake of nutrients by patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) and intermittent claudication (IC) met recommended levels for adults older than 50 years and to determine whether meeting recommended levels of nutrients was associated with ankle-brachial index (ABI), inflammation, and ambulation of patients with PAD and IC. Methods: A total of 48 patients were assessed on their dietary intake of 20 nutrients during a 3-day period. Patients were further characterized on demographic variables, comorbid conditions, cardiovascular risk factors, ABI, 6-minute walk distance (6MWD), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) concentration. Results: Few patients met the daily recommended intakes for calcium (4%), fiber (6%), vitamin E (6%), trans fatty acids (13%), vitamin A (15%), total sugars (19%), potassium (23%), sodium (29%), saturated fat (29%), and vitamin C (31%), and none of the patients met the daily recommended intake of vitamin D (0%). Overall, patients met few of the 20 dietary recommendations as the median score was seven recommendations. Only 17 of 48 patients met more than seven of the recommendations. For the ABI regression model adjusted for age, sex, race, smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia, body mass index, and percentage body fat, the only significant predictor was total sugars (P < .001); patients who did not meet the recommendation had lower ABI values. For the hsCRP-adjusted regression model, the strongest significant predictor was omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (P = .001), indicating that those who did not meet the recommendation had higher hsCRP values. Finally, for the 6MWD-adjusted regression model, folate (P = .011) and dietary score index (P = .014) were significant predictors; those who did not meet the recommendation for folate and those who met 5 or fewer of the 20 recommendations had shorter 6MWD. Conclusions: Patients with PAD and IC consume a low-nutrient-dense diet that is deficient in many vitamins, calcium, fruits, and vegetables and contains too much added sugar, saturated and trans fats, and processed foods. In addition, more severe PAD, greater inflammation, and ambulatory dysfunction are independently associated with aspects of a low-nutrient-dense diet, such as too much intake of added sugars, low intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and folate, and meeting the recommended intakes of only five or fewer nutrients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1375-1384
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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