During the month of September, the Center for Vascular Medicine joins the national effort to raise awareness of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), one of the most under diagnosed medical conditions that affects one in every 20 Americans over 50 according to NIH statistics.
PAD is a progressive disease that is often undetected in patients until it is acute and they may be facing a life threatening amputation. The goal of PAD Awareness Month is to educate the public on risk factors, symptoms and healthy lifestyle choices that can slow or prevent the progression of the disease.
September is PAD Awareness Month, but every month Dr. Lakhanpal and his associates at the Center for Vascular Medicine offer screenings for patients to determine if they have PAD or may be at risk of developing it. This simple screening can be a life saver: treating PAD early greatly reduces the risk of major health complications and possible limb amputation. Screenings are easy, quick and painless- take the time this month to schedule yours and preserve your health and quality of life.
This simple screening may confirm that you are not at risk of PAD, despite having symptoms. This was the case for a couple in their early 70’s who came in to be screened in the Annapolis location. Mr. and Mrs. Rose were both screened for PAD due to the presence of several symptoms, including leg pain. Screening confirmed that neither patient had PAD, and Mrs. Rose was referred to another specialist to address her leg pain and discomfort.
PAD Risk Factors
- Age: people over 65 years of age are at an increased risk of PAD, even if asymptomatic
- Diabetes: diabetic patients have a significant risk of developing PAD, especially if they are over 45
- High cholesterol: this raises the risk of PAD and warrants screening
- Smoking: smokers raise their risk of PAD, especially as they age
In general, patients who do not exercise, are overweight/obese should be screened for PAD, especially if they are over 45. Treatment options range from lifestyle changes to minimally invasive surgical procedures that will increase blood flow and allow patients to restore their health and quality of life.
The Center for Vascular Medicine has 5 convenient locations throughout Maryland , all of which offer screenings for PAD.