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Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Screening for Peripheral Arterial Disease

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Release Date: August 2005

Summary of Recommendation / Supporting Documents

Summary of Recommendation

  • The USPSTF recommends against routine screening for peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

    Rating: "D" recommendation.

    Rationale: The USPSTF found fair evidence that screening with ankle brachial index can detect adults with asymptomatic PAD. The evidence is also fair that screening for PAD among asymptomatic adults in the general population would have few or no benefits because the prevalence of PAD in this group is low and because there is little evidence that treatment of PAD at this asymptomatic stage of disease, beyond treatment based on standard cardiovascular risk assessment, improves health outcomes.

    The USPSTF found fair evidence that screening asymptomatic adults with the ankle brachial index could lead to some small degree of harm, including false-positive results and unnecessary work-ups. Thus, the USPSTF concludes that, for asymptomatic adults, harms of routine screening for PAD exceed benefits.

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Supporting Documents

Screening for Peripheral Arterial Disease, August 2005
Recommendation Statement (PDF File, 41 KB; PDF Help)
Brief Evidence Update (PDF File, 42 KB; PDF Help)

Current as of August 2005

Internet Citation:

Screening for Peripheral Arterial Disease, Topic Page. August 2005. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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