In the general population, peripheral atherosclerosis is a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease and death. In patients with known coronary artery disease, it is unclear whether the presence of additional noncoronary atherosclerosis is of further prognostic value. In the Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation, 5-year outcome was compared between patients with and without clinically evident noncoronary atherosclerosis. Within the subgroup with noncoronary atherosclerosis, surgery, and angioplasty treatment strategies were compared. Noncoronary atherosclerosis was defined as claudication, peripheral vascular surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm, history of cerebral ischemia, or carotid disease. Among 1,816 patients, 303 (17%) had noncoronary atherosclerosis. These patients were more likely to have a history of congestive heart failure, diabetes, and hypertension, and were more likely to smoke. Coronary angiographic variables were similar between the 2 groups. Five-year survival was 75.8% for patients with noncoronary atherosclerosis and 90.2% those without (p < 0.001). The adjusted relative risk of death was 1.7 for any noncoronary atherosclerosis, 1.5 for lower extremity disease alone, 1.7 for cerebral disease alone, and 2.3 for both conditions. Among the 303 patients with noncoronary atherosclerosis, the adjusted relative risk of death for surgery versus angioplasty was 0.87 (p = 0.40). However, the study has limited power to detect a treatment effect in this small subgroup. Thus, patients with combined coronary and clinically evident noncoronary atherosclerosis are a high-risk group with significantly worse long-term outcome compared patients with isolated coronary disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine