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Lifestyle Changes Remain Important in Fighting Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
Date:10/21/2009

Not Enough Evidence Yet to Support Minimally Invasive Treatment in Those With Blocked Leg Artery and Showing No Symptoms, Say Researchers in Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology

FAIRFAX, Va., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Modifying the risk of peripheral arterial disease (or PAD) -- with healthy lifestyle changes -- remains vital to one's health, note researchers in a recent issue of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. And while PAD can progress and worsen over time, there is not enough evidence yet to advocate minimally invasive treatment in patients who have had a narrowing or blockage of a leg artery but showing no signs or symptoms of the disease, say Irish researchers in a retrospective study of more than 900 individuals.

"In the early stages of PAD, many patients will have no symptoms at all and often will go undiagnosed," noted Aoife Keeling, an interventional radiologist at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, Ill. She indicated that the prevalence or frequency of asymptomatic PAD is likely underestimated; however, researchers studied whether minimally invasive treatments -- such as angioplasty and/or stenting -- should be offered to asymptomatic PAD patients. "While this study is useful in examining the possibility of treating PAD earlier, additional research into the factors that cause PAD progression and the rate of progression -- along with methods to slow the disease -- need to be conducted," said Keeling. "Prevention of PAD progression is vital and can be achieved with risk factor modification, for example, if individuals stop smoking, watch their diets, lower their cholesterol and have their blood pressure monitored," she noted.

PAD (or "hardening of the arteries" particularly in one's legs) affects an estimated 10 million people in the United States. PAD occurs when plaque accumulates in arteries that supply blood to areas of the body other than the heart and brai
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology
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