Previous community-based studies have demonstrated sex and race-based disparities in the risk of cardiovascular disease. We sought to examine the association of sex and race with incident peripheral artery disease (PAD-) and critical limb ischemia (CLI-) related hospitalizations.
In 13,451 Black and White ARIC participants without prevalent PAD at baseline (1987-89), we estimated the cumulative incidence of PAD- and CLI-related hospitalization over a median follow-up of 26 years. We quantified hazard ratios (HRs) using Cox models across four sex- and race-groups. PAD and CLI were defined by hospitalization discharge codes.
The cumulative incidence of PAD-related hospitalization was higher in males than females in Whites (5.1% vs. 2.7%; p<0.001) but not in Blacks (5.7% vs. 5.0%; p=0.39). The cumulative incidence of CLI-related hospitalization differed significantly by race more than sex, occurring in 3.1% Black males, 3.1% Black females, 1.4% White males, and 0.8% White females (p<0.001). After risk factor adjustment, the risk of incident PAD-related hospitalization was similar for White males vs. White females [HR 1.14, 95%CI 0.90-1.45], and slightly higher for Black males [HR 1.26, 95%CI 0.92-1.72] and Black females [HR 1.39, 95%CI 1.03-1.87] compared to White females. The adjusted risk of incident CLI-related hospitalization was similar for White males vs. White females [HR 1.15, 95%CI 0.75-1.76], and significantly higher for Black males [HR 1.96, 95%CI 1.22-3.16] and Black females [HR 2.06, 95%CI 1.31-3.24] compared to White females.
These data suggest that there are both sex- and race-specific patterns of PAD-related hospitalization that lead to differences in clinical disease risk and presentation.

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