Recruitment to Exercise Programmes: Challenges in the Peripheral Arterial Disease Population

Current evidence suggests that 27 million people in Europe and North America have peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Although only 3% of patients with intermittent claudication (IC) require amputation, a significant number will require hospital admission and other surgical intervention for IC and associated cardiac and cerebrovascular complications. An important aim of exercise therapy in the peripheral arterial disease population is to decrease cardiovascular risk factors and consequent morbidity and mortality. Several studies have demonstrated that exercise programmes result in significant improvements in walking distances but the long-term benefits are unknown. A randomised controlled trial is currently being conducted in Beaumont Hospital to determine the effects of a supervised exercise programme on quality of life, risk factor modification and morbidity and mortality in patients with PAD.