Prevalence of extracranial carotid occlusive disease. Non-invasive study.

J F Fernandes, L M Pedro, J P Freire, A Correia, M M Pedro, A Damião, R Pereira, J P Alves, C Martins


Cerebrovascular disease is the most important cause of mortality and morbility in some European Countries, but the prevalence of carotid occlusive disease has not been adequately assessed. From 1985 to 1987, 1,143 patients were consecutively evaluated in the Vascular Laboratory in order to determine the presence of extracranial carotid occlusive disease. 638 (55.8%) were males and 505 (44.2%) females and mean age was 58 years (16-87). 509 had previously focal brain ischemia, ocular and/or hemispheric (Group I), 78 had assymptomatic cervical bruit (Group II), 55 non-hemispheric neurologic dysfunction (Group III) and 501 had atypical symptoms for cerebrovascular disease (Group IV). Diagnostic criteria for carotid disease: were peak frequency greater than 4.0 KHz; spectral broadening greater than 40% and late sysstolic turbulence. Global prevalence of carotid disease was 31.8% and the results in each group were: Gr. I-37.2%; Gr. II-57.7%; Gr. III-43.6%; Gr. IV-21.2%. 49% of the patients had hypertension, 22.8% dyslipidemia, 22.4% evidence of coronary disease and 13.6% had diabetes. Hypertension, diabetes, coronary disease and the coexistence of two risk factors were significantly more prevalent in the group of patients with carotid disease. These results confirm a high prevalence of carotid disease in this population, which is comparable to the one is northern european populations.

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