Although distinct disorders, peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and dementia are both associated with a progressive decline in activities of daily living in elderly patients.
This study aimed to compare the functional performance scores between elderly patients with and without dementia and with or without PVD.
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and mixed type dementia and controls were prospectively enrolled. Functional performance scores for basic activities of daily living (BADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) were evaluated using the Barthel scale and Lawton scale, respectively. PVD was diagnosed using the ankle brachial index (ABI).
Controls without PVD were age- and sex-matched with 57 patients with both dementia and PVD and with 69 patients without dementia. The patients with PVD in both groups had lower mean BALD scores. Adjusting for age, clinical dementia rating, and depression, PVD was associated with a higher likelihood of being in the quartiles of lower BADL scores in those with dementia (p=0.020). Adjusting for age, sex, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score, depression, and comorbidity and drug counts among the patients without dementia, a significant association was observed with PVD and a higher likelihood of being in the quartiles of lower BADL scores (p=0.044). PVD was related with a higher likelihood of being in the quartiles of lower IADL scores in the non-dementia subjects (p=0.001) after adjusting for age, depression, MMSE, education and comorbidity count.
PVD presence determined poorer status of BADL in demented individuals, but not of the level of IADL. Whether PVD risk factor modification and ABI screening might improve independence among demented needs to be elucidated.

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