Objectives To study ethnic differences in ankle pressures in South Asians versus Europeans and in those with and without diabetes mellitus (DM).
Design Case control.
Setting Primary care.
Participants 391(DM=154) South Asian and 252(DM=72) European adults.
Main outcome measures Systolic blood pressure of the left (L) and right (R) brachial, posterior tibial (PT) and dorsalis pedis (DP) arteries were measured using a Doppler probe.
Results In comparison with Europeans, in young South Asians, DM was diagnosed 12 years earlier but pressures were lower, p≤0.0001 for all (RPT (146 vs 157 mm Hg), LPT (143 vs 154 mm Hg), RDP (138 vs 150 mm Hg) and LDP (137 vs 149 mm Hg)). Pack year was greater in Europeans. Odds ratios of cardiovascular disease in relation to ankle pressure were increased in South Asians with ankle brachial index between 0.9 and 1.3 or >1.3. Linear regression in South Asians identified age was an independent predictor of increased pedal pressures, DM of increased RPT and LDP, and sex of LPT and LDP. In Europeans, age was an independent predictor of increased pedal pressures, and sex and pack years were independent predictors of decreased pedal pressures. In South Asians, all ankle pressure and in Europeans, RPT, LPT and LDP were increased in subjects with DM versus without. Ankle pressures and cardiovascular disease in South Asians with DM were similar to those of 10 years older Europeans with DM.
Conclusions South Asians with DM had higher ankle pressures versus without and were similar to 10 years older Europeans with DM. Prospective studies on ankle pressures for development of diabetes or cardiovascular disease are warranted in South Asians.
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