OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to analyze the relationship between gait speed and measurements of physical function in patients with symptomatic peripheral artery disease (PAD).
METHODS: One hundred sixty-nine patients (age 66.6±9.4 years) with symptomatic PAD were recruited. Usual and fast gait speeds were assessed with a 4-meter walk test. Objective (balance, sit-to-stand, handrip strength, and six-minute walk test) and subjective (WIQ - Walking Impairment Questionnaire and WELCH - Walking Estimated-Limitation Calculated by History) measurements of physical function were obtained. Crude and adjusted linear regression analyses were used to confirm significant associations.
RESULTS: Usual and fast gait speeds were significantly correlated with all objective and subjective physical function variables examined (r<0.55, p<0.05). In the multivariate model, usual gait speed was associated with six-minute walking distance (β=0.001, p<0.001), sit-to-stand test score (β=-0.005, p=0.012), and WIQ stairs score (β=0.002, p=0.006) adjusted by age, ankle brachial index, body mass index, and gender. Fast gait speed was associated with six-minute walking distance (β=0.002, p<0.001), WIQ stairs score (β=0.003, p=0.010), and WELCH total score (β=0.004, p=0.026) adjusted by age, ankle brachial index, body mass index, and gender.
CONCLUSION: Usual and fast gait speeds assessed with the 4-meter test were moderately associated with objective and subjective measurements of physical function in symptomatic PAD patients.