October 2015

Supervised exercise for claudication may benefit men more than women

In the moment: Rehabilitation

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Supervised exercise therapy for intermittent claudication is more effective in men than in women, according to research from the Netherlands that suggests gender-specific interventions may be appropriate in this population.

Investigators from Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven performed a follow-up analysis on 169 patients (56 women) with peripheral arterial disease and intermittent claudication who received 12 months of supervised exercise therapy as part of an earlier randomized controlled trial.

Absolute claudication distance (ACD), defined as the distance a participant could walk before experiencing intolerable pain, was similar for men and women at baseline. The exercise intervention was associated with ACD improvement compared with baseline in both men and women, but the improvement at three months was significantly greater in men than in women. Men also significantly outperformed women at one year in absolute walking distance and several domains of the Walking Impairment Questionnaire.

The findings, published in the September issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery, suggest that men and women with intermittent claudication may require different approaches to supervised exercise intervention.


Gommans LN, Scheltinga MR, van Sambeek MR, et al. Gender differences following supervised exercise therapy in patients with intermittent claudication. J Vasc Surg 2015;62(3):681-688.

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