Lower extremity performance is associated with daily life physical activity in individuals with and without peripheral arterial disease

Mary McGrae McDermott, Philip Greenland, Luigi Ferrucci, Michael H. Criqui, Kiang Liu, Leena Sharma, Cheeling Chan, Lillian Celic, Aparna Priyanath, Jack M. Guralnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To determine whether persons with poorer lower extremity functioning have reduced physical activity levels. DESIGN: Cross-sectional. SETTING: Three Chicago-area medical centers. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred twenty-five people with lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and 121 individuals without PAD. MEASUREMENTS: The summary performance score (SPS) was determined for all participants. The SPS combines data on walking velocity, time for five repeated chair rises, and standing balance. Each test is scored on a 0 to 4 scale (4 = best). Scores are summed to create the SPS (0-12 scale, 12 = best). All participants wore a vertical accelerometer for 7 days to measure physical activity. RESULTS: The SPS was associated linearly with 7-day physical activity levels of participants with (P <.0001) and without PAD (P <.0001). This relationship was maintained even after restricting analyses to subsets of participants who reported that they could walk a quarter of a mile and up and down stairs without difficulty (P <.001) and were able to walk for 6-minutes without stopping (P <.001). In multiple linear regression analyses, the SPS was associated with physical activity in participants with (P <.01) and without PAD (P <.001), adjusting for age, sex, race, comorbidities, ankle brachial index, neuropathy, and leg symptoms. CONCLUSION: In people with and without PAD who have impaired lower extremity performance, reduced physical activity levels may contribute to subsequent disability. Future study is needed to determine whether interventions to increase physical activity can prevent functional decline in persons with a low SPS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Disability
  • Intermittent claudication
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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