Critical leg ischaemia (CLI) has been associated with high mortality rates. There is a lack of contemporary data on both short- and long-term mortality rates in patients diagnosed with CLI.


This was a systematic literature search for studies prospectively reporting mortality in patients diagnosed with CLI. Meta-analysis and meta-regression models were developed to determine overall mortality rates and specific patient-related factors that were associated with death.


A total of 50 studies were included in the analysis The estimated probability of all-cause mortality in patients with CLI was 3·7 per cent at 30 days, 17·5 per cent at 1 year, 35·1 per cent at 3 years and 46·2 per cent at 5 years. Men had a statistically significant survival benefit at 30 days and 3 years. The presence of ischaemic heart disease, tissue loss and older age resulted in a higher probability of death at 3 years.


Early mortality rates in patients diagnosed with CLI have improved slightly compared with previous historical data, but long-term mortality rates are still high.