This article was originally published here
Vasa. 2021 Mar 1:1-7. doi: 10.1024/0301-1526/a000945. Online ahead of print.
Background: Peripheral artery disease (PAD) of the lower limbs is a common condition with considerable global burden. Some country-specific studies suggest low levels of public awareness. To our knowledge public awareness of PAD has never been assessed simultaneously in several countries worldwide. Patients and methods: This was an international, general public, internet-based quantitative survey assessing vascular health and disease understanding. Questionnaires included 23 closed-ended multiple-choice, Likert scale and binary choice questions. Data were collected from 9,098 survey respondents from nine countries in Europe, North and Latin America during May-June 2018. Results: Overall, familiarity with PAD was low (57% of respondents were “not at all familiar”, and 9% were “moderately” or “very familiar”). Knowledge about PAD health consequences was limited, with 55% of all respondents not being aware of limb consequences of PAD. There were disparities in PAD familiarity levels between countries; highest levels of self-reported awareness were in Germany and Poland where 13% reported to be “very” or “moderately” familiar with PAD, and lowest in Scandinavian countries (5%, 3% and 2% of respondents in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, respectively). There were disparities in awareness according to age. Respondents aged 25-34 were most familiar with PAD, with 12% stating that they were “moderately” or “very” familiar with the condition, whereas those aged 18-24 were the least familiar with PAD (7% “moderately” or “very” familiar with PAD). In the 45-54, 55-64 and 65+ age groups, 9% said they were “moderately” or “very” familiar with the term. There was no important gender-based difference in PAD familiarity. Conclusions: On an international level, public self-reported PAD awareness is low, even though PAD is a common condition with considerable burden. Campaigns to increase PAD awareness are needed to reduce delays in diagnosis and to motivate people to control PAD risk factors.