Dr. Scott Brannan is a peripheral arterial disease specialist. He is also the Chief of Endovascular Surgery at Modern Vascular and the managing physician for Modern Vascular of North Mesa, Arizona. He talks about the importance of awareness and screening for peripheral arterial disease.
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD for short, is a killer that is not well known. Only 1 in 5 people have heard of peripheral arterial disease. That means that 80% of people have not been exposed to that diagnosis before. The troubling part of that reality is that the prevalence of the disease is about 20% in people that are over 60 and about 40% in patients that are older than 80. The mortality associated with PAD is 8 times greater than the mortality associated with breast cancer.
Why has peripheral artery disease become such a health issue?
That has to do with the diabetic epidemic that has been taking place for about the last 30 years. Ever since we made changes to the diet that include corn syrup and high sugar substrates we have seen the rates of peripheral artery disease increase consistently every single year.
Peripheral artery disease is one of the major complications of diabetes. Coronary artery disease, carotid artery disease, and peripheral artery disease are all diabetic complications. Other complications, like diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy in the periphery, are things that we need to be aware of. Most people are aware of those, but peripheral artery disease has been underrecognized. It is a disease that is easy to screen for. It is also easy to treat. Not just with surgery or intervention, but with lifestyle modifications.
What are the consequences of PAD?
Breakdown of the skin, the development of diabetic foot ulcers, decreased activity, and decreased independence are all consequences of PAD. The most concerning of these is the development of a diabetic foot ulcer. Breakdown of the skin can rapidly lead to infection, including infection of the bone, which can lead rapidly to amputation. We know that the consequences of amputation can be severe. When we look out to 5 years, we see that 3/4 of patients that undergo major amputations pass away.
If you have any of the risk factors: diabetes, smoking, obesity, hypertension, and high cholesterol, you need to your doctor about getting screening for peripheral artery disease or reach out to Modern Vascular and we will get you scheduled for an evaluation.
Modern Vascular has 5 clinics in Arizona, 14 clinics total, with 4 more on the way.
Dr. Scott Brannan and the team at Modern Vascular of North Mesa, Arizona are well-equipped to care for patients in Mesa and the greater Phoenix area. Dr. Brannan has treated patients throughout Arizona at the clinic in North Mesa. There are a total of 5 Modern Vascular clinics in Arizona, so if you are located in Arizona, take a look at our clinics page to see if there is a Modern Vascular location that is closer to you.