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Exercise may be better than stents for PAD patients
Date:11/16/2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Supervised exercise was shown to be more effective than stenting or medication for improved walking ability in patients with peripheral artery disease. The findings from a national study were reported today at the 2011 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions meeting. Rhode Island Hospital is one of hospitals participating in the national CLEVER study.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries and impacts blood flow, especially to the legs. It is estimated that between 10 and 12 million people suffer from PAD in the United States. One symptom of PAD is known as claudication, a painful cramping of the leg muscles that limits the patient's ability to walk. It affects nearly 2 million people who suffer from PAD, and results in a sedentary lifestyle and poor quality of life.

Current guidelines for the treatment of claudication include pharmacotherapy, supervised exercise rehabilitation and lower extremity revascularization using stents. Timothy Murphy, M.D., a radiologist who heads the vascular disease research center at Rhode Island Hospital, was the principal investigator for the Rhode Island Hospital arm of the CLEVER (Claudication: Exercise Versus. Endoluminal Revascularizaton) Study, a multi-center study sponsored by grants from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. It is the first multi-center clinical trial to compare the treatment strategies. He is also the lead author of the paper published in the November issue of the journal Circulation.

The research group reported that of 111 patients studied in the randomized trial, the most effective treatment proved to be supervised exercise based on the results of a treadmill test taken at baseline and again at six months. Patients who were in the supervised exercise group improved by a mean of 4.6 minutes in the treadmill test, while the group who received stents improved by a mean of 2.5 minutes. The re
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Contact: Nancy Cawley Jean
njean@lifespan.org
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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