Premature hardening of the arteries in arms and legs seen in many patients under 55: study
SATURDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Severe peripheral vascular disease may be much more common in younger American adults and women than previously suspected, according to a new study.
The disease causes a narrowing in blood vessels that carry blood to the arms, legs, kidney and stomach and leads to symptoms that include pain and cramping in the legs during exercise.
Researchers analyzed data on 994 men and women, age 55 and younger, treated in the Wake Forest University School of Medicine Vascular Center between 1998 and 2009. They found that most of them had premature atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Severe premature arterial disease of the legs (64 percent) was the most common finding.
Among the other findings:
The findings suggest a need for better detection of early clinical signs of systemic atherosclerosis, researchers said.
The study was slated to be presented Saturday at an American Heart Association conference in San Francisco.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about peripheral vascular disease.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, April 10, 2010
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