Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lifestyle Changes Remain Important In Fighting Peripheral Arterial Disease

Date:
October 22, 2009
Source:
Society of Interventional Radiology
Summary:
Modifying the risk of peripheral arterial disease (or PAD) -- with healthy lifestyle changes -- remains vital to one's health, say researchers. And while PAD can progress and worsen over time, there is not enough evidence yet to advocate minimally invasive treatment in patients who have had a narrowing or blockage of a leg artery but showing no signs or symptoms of the disease.

Modifying the risk of peripheral arterial disease (or PAD) -- with healthy lifestyle changes -- remains vital to one's health, note researchers in a recent issue of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. And while PAD can progress and worsen over time, there is not enough evidence yet to advocate minimally invasive treatment in patients who have had a narrowing or blockage of a leg artery but showing no signs or symptoms of the disease, say Irish researchers in a retrospective study of more than 900 individuals.

"In the early stages of PAD, many patients will have no symptoms at all and often will go undiagnosed," noted Aoife Keeling, an interventional radiologist at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, Ill. She indicated that the prevalence or frequency of asymptomatic PAD is likely underestimated; however, researchers studied whether minimally invasive treatments -- such as angioplasty and/or stenting -- should be offered to asymptomatic PAD patients. "While this study is useful in examining the possibility of treating PAD earlier, additional research into the factors that cause PAD progression and the rate of progression -- along with methods to slow the disease -- need to be conducted," said Keeling. "Prevention of PAD progression is vital and can be achieved with risk factor modification, for example, if individuals stop smoking, watch their diets, lower their cholesterol and have their blood pressure monitored," she noted.

PAD (or "hardening of the arteries" particularly in one's legs) affects an estimated 10 million people in the United States. PAD occurs when plaque accumulates in arteries that supply blood to areas of the body other than the heart and brain. Since plaque blocks the leg arteries first, PAD is considered a red flag for several life-threatening vascular diseases, such as heart attack (the number one killer in this country) and stroke; it can also result in the loss of limb(s). PAD causes a range of symptoms, from no symptoms to pain in the legs while walking (intermittent claudication) to its most severe form that results in pain in the feet/legs at rest that can progress to ulcers (sores/wounds on the feet and toes) and eventual gangrene (black discoloration of the toes or feet; also called critical limb ischemia). The disease's progression can result in limb loss and even in death.

In the study, 918 patients had leg angiograms (an X-ray exam to diagnose arterial blockage and other problems). Of these, 122 patients (54 percent male, average age 70 years) had an arterial narrowing (50 percent) or blockage without any corresponding leg symptoms, said Keeling. These patients were followed over a maximum of nine years to determine if they developed any symptoms and to see if they required any treatment for their PAD in the form of angioplasty, stenting, surgical bypass or amputation. One-third of the 122 patients developed symptoms of pain or ulceration and almost half of these then required treatment. Overall, only 13.9 percent of the initial group required treatment, so even though PAD progressed over time, the researchers did not believe they had enough evidence to advocate early minimally invasive treatment of PAD in patients who had no initial symptoms, said Keeling. The fact that most of the 122 patients remained asymptomatic may be related to the intense risk factor modification they underwent or other factors as yet unidentified, said Keeling. "We know that many patients have blockages in their leg arteries but may not develop symptoms. We don't know yet what causes symptoms to develop in some but not in others. We are continuing our research in this area," she added.

Research shows that the highest risk populations for PAD include seniors (12-20 percent develop the disease), African-Americans (twice as likely to develop clogged leg arteries) and diabetics (one in three who are over the age of 50 develop PAD). In many cases, PAD can be treated with medication (such as blood thinners or drugs that dilate an affected artery), lifestyle changes (such as smoking cessation), diet and a structured exercise program. With early detection, patients could see an interventional radiologist when intervention is most effective and less invasive treatments are an option. If needed, interventional radiologists can perform minimally invasive angioplasty and/or stenting to open a blocked artery in the leg and restore blood flow.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society of Interventional Radiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Keeling et al. Should Incidental Asymptomatic Angiographic Stenoses and Occlusions Be Treated in Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease? Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, 2009; 20 (9): 1133 DOI: 10.1016/j.jvir.2009.05.035

Cite This Page:

Society of Interventional Radiology. "Lifestyle Changes Remain Important In Fighting Peripheral Arterial Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021101818.htm>.
Society of Interventional Radiology. (2009, October 22). Lifestyle Changes Remain Important In Fighting Peripheral Arterial Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021101818.htm
Society of Interventional Radiology. "Lifestyle Changes Remain Important In Fighting Peripheral Arterial Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021101818.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins