We sought to determine whether mean platelet volume (MPV) is associated with the prevalence of peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Platelets play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and PAD. MPV, a measure of platelet size available in every blood count, is increasingly recognized as an important marker of platelet activity.
We analyzed data from 6354 participants aged 40 years and older from the 1999 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative sample of the US population. PAD was defined as an ankle brachial index ≤0.90 in either leg. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by logistic regression.
The prevalence of PAD in the cohort was 5.7%. MPV was significantly associated with PAD prevalence (tertile 1 – 4.4%, tertile 2 – 6.1%, tertile 3 – 7.0%, P for trend = 0.003). After adjustment for age, sex, and race, the odds ratio of PAD comparing the highest tertile to the lowest tertile was 1.57 (95% confidence interval 1.15–2.13). After further adjustment for smoking status, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, glomerular filtration rate, body mass index, and platelet count the corresponding odds ratio was 1.58 (95% confidence interval 1.14–2.19). The addition of triglycerides, hemoglobin A1c, and C-reactive protein did not affect the results. The significant association between MPV and PAD was unchanged when MPV was used as a continuous variable.
Mean platelet volume is independently associated with PAD. These findings support the hypothesis that platelet size is an independent predictor of increased risk for PAD.