In the PADVa cohort, consecutive patients referred to the Vascular Ultrasound Laboratory of the Department of Vascular Surgery at the Västmanland County Hospital, Västerås, Sweden, were included if they fulfilled at least one of the following criteria:
- symptoms of claudication and an ankle-brachial-index of ≤ 0,9 in the ipsilateral lower extremity
- symptoms of claudication combined with ultrasonographic evidence of occlusive arterial disease in the ipsilateral lower extremity
- stenosis or occlusion in the internal carotid artery.
During the time between April 2006 and February 2011, there were 614 patients fulfilling the inclusion criteria. Among these eligible patients, 162 (26.4 %) declined to participate. Thus, 452 (73.6 %) of the eligible patients constituted the final study population.
The participants underwent extensive examinations including:
- A questionnaire regarding previous and current medical problems, medication, tobacco and alcolhol habits, physical activity, heredity, quality of life, type D personality etc.
- Measures of height, weight, waist, and hip. Blood pressures in arms and ankles
- Ambulatory 24-hour blood pressure monitoring
- Dynamic and static spirometry
- 12 lead resting ECG
- Ultrasonographic examinations of the heart (echocardiography) and arteries (carotid arteries, renal arteries, and abdominal aorta)
- Half of the patients without previously known diabetes (a randomized sample) underwent an oral glucose tolerance test (measuring blood glucose in fasting state before and 120 minutes after intake of 75 g glucose)
- Blood analyses (including hemoglobin, leukocytes, creatinine, troponin I, HbA1c, total cholesterol and its fractions, triglycerides, apolipoproteins, CRP, cystatin C, NT-proBNP, insulin, proinsulin). In addition, blood samples are stored, aliquoted to microtubes, in freezers in the Ice hotel at the Uppsala Biobank, Uppsala, Sweden for future analyses.