Intermittent claudication has a prevalence of between 1 and Z percent for men above age 50, with symptomless disease existing in up to 25 percent of men scanned with noninvasive testing in this age group.11 Symptoms of peripheral arterial disease increase with age and are two to four times more common in men than in women. The vast majority of these patients have a history of prolonged smoking. There has been an increase in the incidence of both chronic limb ischemia and arterial embolic disease in the last decade. Given that atherosclerosis is the usual pathology in ischemic limb pain, it is not surprising that at lest half of these patients have coronary or cerebrovascular disease.11 Embolic occlusion of an artery also occurs primarily in elderly men and postmenopausal women, given the higher prevalence in this group of heart disease, which is the major source of thromboemboli.
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