Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx) Blog

Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx) Blog

Peripheral arterial disease recognition, diagnosis and management in general practice in the Republic of Ireland and England: an online survey – Dr Judit Konya

Posted by ma403

16 April 2024

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is common: it affects up to 25% of the adult population aged over 80 years-old. It can lead to limb loss or death, and PAD is an indicator of future cardiovascular events. Symptoms such as leg pain vary, and the condition is underdiagnosed. Clinicians focus on modifying future cardiovascular risk. Patient and public understanding of PAD is poor.

The EuroPAD research group was established in 2019 and designed a survey for General Practitioners (GPs) to assess their attitudes towards the diagnosis, management and follow-up of patients with PAD. We conducted the online survey in England and the Republic of Ireland (ROI) in 2020 and early 2021. Survey conduct was severely hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We analysed 111 responses: 68 from England, 43 from ROI. Twenty five percent. of respondents from England, and 55% from ROI reported that they do not measure ankle-brachial index (ABI) in their practices. ABI was mostly reported to be measured when leg pain was present. Where PAD was suspected due to intermittent claudication or leg ulcers, GPs most often (72%) referred patients to secondary care, rather than requesting further investigations, for diagnostic purposes.

Our survey highlighted potential missed opportunities to identify PAD in general practice and the findings support a preliminary call for a programme to raise awareness of the condition.

Our research was supported by the Practitioner’s Allowance Grant from the Royal College of General Practitioners. The full paper can be accessed on the following link:


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