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Arterial disease awareness cuts heart attacks and leg amputations, claim UK vascular surgeons
Date:3/6/2010

Circulation Foundation believe we could reduce number of patients undergoing leg amputation and detect heart disease earlier if diagnosis and treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease (a hardening or blockage of arteries in the legs) were given higher priority by the NHS and there was better public awareness. Each year 5,000 leg amputations are carried out in England and Wales, the majority of which are caused by PAD, but there are currently no national clinical standards for doctors to follow and public awareness is low.

(PRWeb UK) March 6, 2010 -- UK could reduce number of patients undergoing leg amputation and detect heart disease earlier if diagnosis and treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease (a hardening or blockage of arteries in the legs) were given higher priority by the NHS and there was better public awareness say the Circulation Foundation. Each year 5,000 leg amputations are carried out in England and Wales, the majority of which are caused by PAD, but there are currently no national clinical standards for doctors to follow and public awareness is low.

Speaking ahead of Saving Legs - a major vascular surgery meeting to coincide with Vascular Disease Awareness Week - Professor Cliff Shearman, President of the Vascular Society said: “We need to start detecting PAD earlier. Recognising and treating PAD in its early stages not only helps to save people’s legs, it also reduces the number of people at risk of heart attacks and stroke as PAD is often a marker of cardiovascular problems.”

PAD is common in adults over 55 with up to 30 per cent of the age group showing signs of the vascular disease but is little known to the public. Four per cent of adults over 55 have symptoms of ‘claudication’, or pain in the muscles of the leg, which restricts walking. If left untreated PAD can result in amputation of the leg but currently over 50 per cent of peop
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