Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility and relevance of determining ankle brachial index (ABI) using an automatic blood pressure device in subjects seen for their annual routine examination by occupational physicians and to compare the obtained ABI with the Framingham score.
Patients and Methods: Sixteen physicians randomly recruited 634 subjects in 12 departments of occupational medicine. Subjects aged between 40 and 60 years underwent a determination of ABI using an OMRON HM 722 device and the analysis of Framingham score. Other analysed variables were: sex, age, smoking habit, hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, glycaemia, total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels.
Results: Mean age of the population studied was 48.1 ± 6.0 years; 73% were men, 36% were smokers, 14% had hypertension, 3.3% diabetes and 22% hypercholesterolemia. Biochemical values were glycaemia 0.90 ± 0.30 g/l, total cholesterol 2.10 ± 0.4 g/l, HDL cholesterol level 0.50 ± 0.20 g/l, LDL cholesterol level 1.30 ± 0.40 g/l, and triglycerides 1.40 ± 1.0 g/l. Mean ABI were 1.1 ± 0.1 in both legs. Mean Framingham score was 8.2 ± 5.4%. Only 20 subjects (3%) had an ABI < 0.90. No relation was found between pathological ABI and Framingham score (abnormal ABI : 9.9 ± 5.5 vs. normal ABI : 8.2 ± 5.4, NS).
Conclusion: The determination of ABI using a simple commercially available automatic blood pressure device is feasible and easy to implement by preventive or general physicians in all kinds of routine examinations. In our opinion automatic ABI very easy and quick to determine provides, in addition to Framingham score, a simple and useful tool to detect subjects at high cardio-vascular risk.