Featured Article| Volume 19, ISSUE 3, 104515, March 2023

The Link Between Reproductive History, Cardiovascular Disease, and Peripheral Arterial Disease in Women: Implications for Practice

Published:February 02, 2023DOI:


      • Once deemed a male-dominated disease, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a significant and often underrecognized cause of morbidity and mortality among women.
      • Emerging evidence indicates that sex-specific risk factors for PAD pose additional threats for women and include adverse pregnancy outcomes and menopause.
      • The pathophysiology of sex-specific risk factors for PAD, coupled with the cardiometabolic implications of adverse pregnancy outcomes, oral contraceptive use, and menopause, necessitate that health care providers capture data related to both the traditional risk factors for PAD as well as a woman’s reproductive history.


      The average life expectancy in the United States fell for the second straight year. Attributed mostly to COVID-19 and unintentional injuries (driven by drug overdoses), the third most prevalent cause of death is heart disease. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is an often-unrecognized global pandemic affecting more than 220 million. Since early 2000, the incidence of PAD has increased by 25% globally, Once considered a male-dominated disease, PAD is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among women. This article provides a comprehensive review of the sex-linked risk factors for PAD that pose additional threats for women. Implications for practice are provided.


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      Jennifer Lemoine, PhD, DNP, NNP-BC, is a professor and interim associate dean, Graduate Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Louisiana at Lafayette.


      Barbara L. Wilson, PhD, RN, is emeritus associate professor at the University of Utah College of Nursing and can be contacted at [email protected]