The researchers did not report any conflicts of interest.
For his part, Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that the findings underscore the importance of timely intervention among PAD patients, regardless of gender.
"Men or women with peripheral arterial disease have four to five times the risk of heart attack or stroke," he noted. "Left untreated, peripheral arterial disease can lead to amputation."
"Treatment of peripheral artery disease," he added, "focuses on preventing further progression of the disease, including lifestyle changes, exercise programs, and specific medications to reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke as well as to slow the progression or even reverse symptoms of peripheral artery disease."
This study, he concluded, "highlights the need for aggressive treatment of peripheral artery disease in both women and men".
For more on PAD, visit the American Heart Association.
SOURCES: Mary M. McDermott, M.D., professor, medicine, department of medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago; Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Feb. 8, 2011, Journal of the American College of Cardiology
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