September is PAD Awareness Month
September is Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness month but awareness for the disease is still very low. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)affects the arteries carrying blood away from the heart. PAD occurs when these arteries narrow due to atherosclerosis (plaque buildup on arterial walls) which decreases blood flow to legs, feet, and toes. Left untreated, PAD complications include critical limb ischemia, gangrene, and amputation.
PAD Requires Medical Attention
Awareness of the Disease is Low
While you don’t often hear about PAD, prevalence of the disease is significant, estimated to be between 15 and 20 of people 60 or older. For those 80 or older, the prevalence jumps as high as 40 percent. Still, the awareness of the disease is quite low.
PAD is a disease that's easy to screen for
PAD is a disease that's easy to screen for, easy to evaluate, and treatable when an early diagnosis can be made, but the awareness of the disease is low. Our goal at Modern Vascular is to promote awareness of the disease, its risk factors, and treatment options. With more awareness, patients and doctors will be able to identify early signs of PAD and ensure early intervention in order to decrease these numbers.
Number-One Risk Factors
One of the most notable risk factors for PAD is age. Another major risk factor is diabetes. While this does include diabetics that are newly diagnosed, the prevalence increases significantly for those who have had diabetes for ten years or longer. Next, smoking is a major factor that puts you at risk for PAD.
History of Smoking
Another extremely important factor is any history of smoking. If you have smoked cigarettes for a total of ten years or more, you have a significantly higher risk of developing PAD even if you no longer smoke. In order to prevent your risk form increasing further, it is important to quit smoking so your vascular health can recover. Finally, other risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure are also very important in determining who will develop this disease
Have 2 Major Risk Factors?
If you have any two of the major risk factors that are discussed above such as age greater than 55, diabetes, smoking or hypertension, you are at considerably increased risk of peripheral arterial disease and it is important to be screened. As an additional tool, the PAD risk assessment at the top of this page may help you determine your risk level.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Schedule your appointment today to learn more about peripheral artery disease, your level of risk, and available treatment options.