OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the effect of crossing the legs at the knee and the ankle on peripheral arterial pressures.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

A prospective study of 6 diabetic patients with known peripheral vascular disease and 5 nondiabetic control subjects without peripheral vascular disease was conducted. Peripheral arterial pressures were taken at the ankle and at the great toe before and after crossing the legs at the knees and ankles. Comparisons were made of measurements obtained in the supine and sitting positions. All crossed leg measurements were taken in the sitting position.

RESULTS

Ankle arm indexes and digital arm indexes pressures taken in the sitting position were equal to or higher than supine pressures, with the exception of one subject, GB. In this patient, ankle arm indexes and digital arm indexes on the right extremity were lower in the sitting position, but increased with the legs crossed at the knees and ankles compared with the uncrossed sitting position. In all patients, lower extremity pressures that decreased slightly with crossing the legs remained higher than pressures obtained in the supine position. Statistical analyses showed no significant differences. Wave forms did not change even when there was a slight decrease in ankle arm indexes or digital arm indexes. Control subjects without peripheral vascular disease showed no change in pressures with crossing the legs.

CONCLUSIONS

Crossing the legs at the knees and ankles does not result in a significant decrease in peripheral arterial pressures in diabetic patients with peripheral vascular disease.

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