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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

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
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SOURCE Bristol-Myers Squibb; sanofi-aventis
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