2011-03-18 / Community

SJEH Warns Of Peripheral Arterial Disease

One in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 has P.A.D., a condition that raises the risk for heart attack and stroke. P.A.D. stands for peripheral arterial disease, which develops when your arteries become clogged with plaque – fatty deposits that limit blood flow to your limbs, especially your legs. Plaque buildup in the legs does not always cause symptoms, so many people may have P.A.D. and not know it. St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is offering screenings for P.A.D., which involves taking the blood pressure of your arms and legs, so the condition may be diagnosed and treated.

People who may experience some symptoms of P.A.D. such as pain or cramping in the legs, often do not report them, believing they are a natural part of aging or due to another cause. Timely detection and treatment of P.A.D. can improve your quality of life and help you keep your independence and mobility and reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, leg amputation and even death.

Are You at Risk for P.A.D.?
- Are you over age 50?
- Do you smoke, or used to smoke?
- Do you have diabetes?
- Do you have high blood pressure?
- Do you have abnormal cholesterol
- Are you of African American

P.A.D. is more common in African Americans than any other racial or ethnic group. This may be in part because some of the conditions that raise the risk for developing P.A.D., such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are more common among African Americans. - Have you had heart disease, a heart attack or stroke?

Treatment for P.A.D.

P.A.D. can be treated with lifestyle changes, medicines, or endovascular or surgical procedures. People with P.A.D. should take charge of controlling their risk factors related to cardiovascular disease, like reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, managing blood glucose levels, healthy eating and exercising. Vascular Services at St. John’s offers a full spectrum of treatment for peripheral arterial disease.

The Screening

P.A.D. can be detected through a painless screening called an anklebrachial index or ABI. To obtain your ABI, your blood pressure in your ankle and your arm is taken with an ordinary blood pressure machine, assisted by a painless ultrasound device. The two numbers form a ratio to determine your ABI. If your ankle pressure is lower than your arm pressure, your leg arteries are probably narrowed.

St. John's Episcopal Hospital is offering this screening as a community benefit. When you call the Vascular Services at St. John’s at 718-869-7138 for an appointment, you will be asked a series of medical questions. St. John's Episcopal Hospital is located at 327 Beach 19 Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691.

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