On Saturday, September 22, Deborah will host its annual free PAD Screening event. Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD, affects approximately 17 million Americans. This common and dangerous vascular disease can lead to heart attack, stroke, amputation and death, and occurs when arteries in the legs become clogged with fatty deposits, reducing blood flow. Common symptoms include leg muscle pain and cramping when walking. During last year’s PAD Screening Event, over 120 people were screened at Deborah’s campus and 40 people were asked to return for follow-up appointments and additional testing.
Who is At Risk of PAD?
The chance of having PAD increases as you get older. People over age 50 have a higher risk for PAD, but the risk is increased if you:
-Smoke, or used to smoke
-Have high blood pressure
-Have abnormal blood cholesterol levels
-Are of African-American ethnicity
-Have had heart disease, a heart attack or a stroke
Who Should be Tested for PAD?
National medical guidelines recommend that individuals with specific risk factors be tested for PAD. Review the following sentences and place a check in any box that applies to you.
□ I am under 50 years of age, have diabetes, and also at least one of these risk factors:
-History of smoking
-High blood pressure
□ I am aged 50 years or older and have diabetes.
□ I am aged 50 years or older and am a former or current smoker.
□ I am aged 70 years or older.
□ I have one or more symptoms of PAD.
If you checked one or more boxes, you qualify to be screened for PAD.
Deborah’s PAD Screening Event includes a test called the ankle-brachial index, a painless, non-invasive test that compares the blood pressure in the ankles with the blood pressure in the arms, and can indicate if you have PAD.