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First-Ever National Ranking of 'Hot Spots' for Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.) Identifies Cities With Higher Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
Date:9/16/2008

- Actress Phylicia Rashad Travels to P.A.D. 'Hot Spots' During P.A.D.

Awareness Month to Urge Diagnosed Residents to Seek Treatment -

NEW YORK, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- According to research conducted by the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), Detroit tops the list of P.A.D. "Hot Spots" as the city with the highest rate of Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.), a condition that more than doubles the risk of having a heart attack or stroke and more than quadruples the risk of dying from heart disease. P.A.D. "Hot Spots" is the first geographic ranking of P.A.D. prevalence across the United States.

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"P.A.D: Make the Connection" is an educational initiative supported by the sanofi-aventis/Bristol-Myers Squibb partnership in collaboration with The P.A.D. Coalition. Following Detroit, the top P.A.D. "Hot Spots" in order of ranking, include Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis, Memphis, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Miami. A complete ranking can be found at http://www.PADfacts.org.

"Last year I helped launch 'P.A.D: Make the Connection' to raise awareness of the condition," said award-winning actress, Phylicia Rashad. "This new research pinpoints where P.A.D. is most prevalent, so my next step is to urge people, especially those living in the 'Hot Spots,' to take the necessary steps to be examined and, if diagnosed with P.A.D., get treated to reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke."

Tony winner, recent 2008 Emmy nominee and one of America's best-loved TV moms, "The Cosby Show"'s Rashad is traveling this month to select P.A.D. "Hot Spots" to share her personal experience with P.A.D. and the toll it has taken on her family. Eight of Rashad's family members, including her father and grandparents, died of a heart attack or stroke, and each of those family members had lived with some of the common risk factors for P.A.D. such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and a family history of heart attack or stroke.

"Great strides in medical research have revealed the connection between different diseases, for example, peripheral artery disease, heart attack and stroke, and how one can put you at risk for another," said Rashad. "I hope my efforts help people begin to think of peripheral artery disease as a cardiovascular event that needs immediate and ongoing treatment to reduce the risk of future cardiovascular events."

P.A.D. is often a silent disease. Some patients experience pain or discomfort in the buttocks, thighs or calves, symptoms typically seen when the disease has progressed. However, patients often don't know they have P.A.D. because they don't experience symptoms. About one in three patients with P.A.D. actually feels pain or heaviness in the feet or legs that goes away with rest. By that time, their arteries may be so clogged or hardened that they are not getting enough oxygen to supply their leg muscles. Others ignore their symptoms because they believe them to be a natural part of aging.

"Testing for P.A.D. is simple and painless and can be performed right in the doctor's office. Once a patient is diagnosed with P.A.D., they should be managed aggressively in order to reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke," said Peter Sheehan, M.D., Senior Faculty at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Unfortunately, that risk never goes away, so maintaining lifestyle changes and sticking with the prescribed treatment regimen are critical to ensuring that P.A.D. patients are protecting themselves from these dangerous events."

How is P.A.D. Managed?

The risks associated with P.A.D. can be reduced through early diagnosis and lifestyle changes. However, in some patients, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to manage the risks associated with P.A.D. such as heart attack or stroke. Antiplatelet medications proven to help reduce these risks and keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming clots may be necessary. PLAVIX(R) (clopidogrel bisulfate) is the only prescription antiplatelet therapy with proven efficacy and a well-established safety profile for a broad range of patients, including those with P.A.D. Medical guidelines recommend antiplatelet therapy, like PLAVIX, in addition to other risk-reducing medications for P.A.D. patients. It is important that people talk to their doctors if they suspect that they may have P.A.D.; a simple, painless test can show if the condition is present.

About P.A.D. "Hot Spots"

P.A.D. "Hot Spots" was derived from the National Minority Quality Forum's "P.A.D. Atlas," which evaluated the prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed peripheral artery disease nationwide, by state, by metropolitan statistical area (MSA), and by zip code. The "P.A.D. Atlas" comprised data from the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to produce maps depicting P.A.D. prevalence, and the U.S. Census (2000) to estimate the age, gender and race/ethnicity as well as the total population in the United States. The Forum uses its comprehensive database to identify and isolate chronic diseases that disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minorities and special populations.

About the P.A.D. Coalition

The Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.) Coalition is an alliance of leading health organizations, vascular health professional societies, and government agencies united to raise public and health professional awareness about lower extremity P.A.D. Established in 2004, the P.A.D. Coalition is coordinated by the Vascular Disease Foundation (http://www.vdf.org), a national, non-profit section 501(c)(3) organization. The P.A.D. Coalition seeks to improve the prevention, early detection, treatment, and rehabilitation of people with, or at risk for, P.A.D. For more information, visit http://www.PADCoalition.org.

About Sanofi-Aventis

Sanofi-aventis is the world's third largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world-class R&D organization, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases, central nervous system, internal medicine, and vaccines. Sanofi-aventis U.S. is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and New York (NYSE: SNY).

About Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life. For more information visit http://www.bms.com.

Important Information About PLAVIX

PLAVIX is a prescription-only medicine that helps keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming clots. PLAVIX is for patients who have: had a recent heart attack, had a recent stroke, poor circulation in their legs (Peripheral Artery Disease). PLAVIX in combination with aspirin is for patients hospitalized with: heart-related chest pain (unstable angina) or heart attack. Doctors may refer to these conditions as ACS (Acute Coronary Syndrome). Clots can become dangerous when they form inside your arteries. These clots form when blood platelets stick together, forming a blockage within your arteries, restricting blood flow to your heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke. If you have a stomach ulcer or other condition that causes bleeding, you should not use PLAVIX. When taking PLAVIX alone or with some other medicines including aspirin, the risk of bleeding may increase so tell your doctor before planning surgery. And, always talk to your doctor before taking aspirin or other medicines with PLAVIX, especially if you've had a stroke. If you develop fever, unexplained weakness or confusion, tell your doctor promptly as these may be signs of a rare but potentially life- threatening condition called TTP, which has been reported rarely, sometimes in less than 2 weeks after starting therapy. Other rare but serious side effects may occur.
Please visit http://www.plavix.com for full prescribing information.

Contacts:

Christina Trank, Bristol-Myers Squibb

(609) 252-3418/Christina.Trank@bms.com

Elizabeth Schupp Baxter, sanofi-aventis

(908) 981-5360/Elizabeth.Baxter@sanofi-aventis.com


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SOURCE Bristol-Myers Squibb; sanofi-aventis
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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