FAIRFAX, Va.Ten million Americans have peripheral arterial disease (PAD), and research shows that the highest risk populations include African-Americans (twice as likely to develop clogged leg arteries), seniors (12-20 percent develop PAD) and diabetics (one in three who are over the age of 50 develop PAD). Legs for Lifea community health and public information programrecommends that older Americans take its free, online self-assessment quiz.
The online quiz (www.legsforlife.org) helps assess health, family and lifestyle risks for PAD. The higher one's score, the more important it is for that individual to discuss the quiz's results with his or her doctor. Additionally, Legs for Life offers a free national screening program dedicated to improving the cardiovascular health of the community with the early detection of PAD.
"Early detection and management of peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, can prevent its progression and help prevent painful walking, gangrene, amputation, heart attack or stroke," said interventional radiologist Timothy P. Murphy, M.D., Legs for Life chair. "Older men and women need to be examined with the ankle brachial index (ABI) test that can diagnose PAD. Individuals need to know their ABI number the way they know their cholesterol, blood pressure or blood sugar number; it can save their lives," added Murphy.
African-Americans are twice as likely to develop PAD, with their increased risk making them as vulnerable as someone who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years, explained Murphy. Seniors may typically dismiss warning symptoms as signs of getting older; however, just like clogged arteries in the heart, clogged arteries in the legs mean that one could be at risk for heart attack or stroke. And, individuals with diabetes are especially susceptible to PAD because diabetes affects every vascular bed in the body and increases the risk for accelerated atherogenesist
|Contact: Maryann Verrillo|
Society of Interventional Radiology