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Peripheral Arterial Disease & Stroke Screening Initiative

Effective Education and Community Engagement





Peripheral artery disease (PAD) which comprises atherosclerosis of the abdominal aorta, iliac, and lower-extremity arteries, is underdiagnosed, undertreated and poorly understood by the medical community. Patients with PAD experience a multitude of problems, claudication, repeated hospitalizations, and revascularizations. Evidence demonstrates, the rate of myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiovascular death in patients with both symptomatic and asymptomatic PAD is markedly increased.



Approximately 12% of the population has PAD, and the prevalence is equal in men and women. PAD affects approximately 18 million US citizens. A strong association exist between advancing age and prevalence of PAD. Almost 20% of adults older than 70 years have PAD. In an elderly hypertensive population from Systolic Hypertension in the Elderly Program, the prevalence of PAD was 38% in black men, 25% in white men, 41% in black women, and 23% in white women.


•           Age 45 years or older

•           Smoking – the single most important modifiable risk factor for development of PAD

•           Diabetes Mellitus – increases risk of developing symptomatic and asymptomatic PAD by 1.5. to 4-fold, increasing the risk of cardiovascular events and early mortality.

•           Hyperlipidemia – an elevated cholesterol level was associated with 2-fold increased risk of claudication.

•           Hypertension – Almost every study has shown a strong association between hypertension and PAD

•           Kidney Disease

•           African Americans and those of Hispanic origins are at increased risk.



Blockages can resist blood flow to the muscles, causing muscle cramps, tightness or weakness, especially during activity. IN the early stages of PAD, patients may not experience symptoms. If PAD is not treated, thought blockages may continue to grow, restrict or even completely block, blood flow. Common Symptoms include:

•           Leg pain when walking

•           Muscle pain or cramping in legs and calf triggered by activity

•           Leg numbness or weakness

•           Coldness on lower leg or foot

•           Sores on toes, legs or feet that won’t heal

•           Changes in color of legs



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