BACKGROUND: Co-morbid vascular disease, such as coronary artery disease or peripheral artery disease (PAD) is frequently combined in patients with ischemic stroke (IS) or transient ischemic attack (TIA). However, PAD has been underestimated and underevaluated in these patients. The aims of this study were to know the prevalence of PAD and to assess the risk factors for PAD in patients with IS or TIA. METHODS: Between February in 2006 and March in 2011, ankle-brachial index (ABI) was measured in 724 patients with acute IS or TIA. We compared the demographics and baseline characteristics, including risk factors and stroke subtypes between patients combined with and without PAD. RESULTS: PAD was found in 13.3% (96/724) and more frequent in patients with large artery disease. Patients with PAD were older (mean age 74.5+/-10.4 vs. 65.5+/-12.5, p<0.001),and had higher body mass index (BMI) (23.15+/-3.46 vs. 24.03+/-3.25; p=0.019), higher serum level of hemoglobin (12.99+/-2.12 vs. 13.68+/-1.87; p=0.001) and severe initial neurological deficit measured by National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) (median 4, IQR:2,7 vs. 2, IQR:1,5; p=0.001) on admission than those without PAD; patients with PAD were more likely to have hypertension (79.2% vs. 61.6%; p=0.001), diabetes (44.8% vs. 29.5%; p=0.004), and previous stroke or TIA (35.4% vs. 23.9%; p=0.022). In multivariable logistic regression analysis, age (OR, 1.069; 95% CI, 1.042-1.096; p<0.001) and diabetes (OR, 1.904; 95% CI, 1.134-3.196; p=0.015) were independently associated with PAD in IS or TIA. CONCLUSIONS: Age and diabetes were independent risk factors for PAD in IS or TIA.