Peripheral Artery Disease: Should You Be Tested?

Monday, 18 Mar 2013 09:52 AM

By David Brownstein, M.D.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Peripheral artery disease occurs when the blood flow to the legs is reduced. It is usually caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) in the vessels leading to the legs.

Peripheral artery disease can also be a sign of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries. Risk factors include:

• Age over 50 years
• Cigarette smoking
• Diabetes
• Family history of peripheral artery disease
• High cholesterol levels
• High levels of homocysteine
• Hypertension
• Obesity

Peripheral artery disease can cause serious problems, including restriction of blood supply to the limbs (called ischemia), which can lead to gangrene, amputation, or even death.

Still, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against screening for peripheral
artery disease because no studies have shown mass screening improves major health outcomes.

Furthermore, the task force found that screening for asymptomatic peripheral artery disease leads to a significant number of false-positive results, which result in unnecessary procedures, such as diagnostic tests (catheterization and angiography) and treatment (antithrombotics, angioplasty, bypass surgery) that can do more harm than good.

If you have leg pain when walking, get a thorough physical exam from a healthcare provider. They should palpate the arteries in your extremities and listen for abnormal blood flow with a stethoscope. Only then should diagnostic tests, such as an ultrasound, be ordered.

© 2014 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Environmental Toxins Causing Obesity?

Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 15:39 PM

Researchers recently studied samples consisting of over 20,000 animals from 24 populations (equally divided between male . . .

Hypothyroidism and Irritable Bowel

Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 15:46 PM

Many patients suffering from thyroid deficiency, or hypothyroidism, do not produce enough stomach acid. Stomach acid is  . . .

Bad Diet Promotes Arthritis

Wednesday, 03 Sep 2014 15:06 PM

There is no question that diet plays a large role in the development and continuation of arthritic symptoms. The standar . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved