The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), one of the US leading voices in the health disparities discussion, has launched the PAD Atlas, a database that maps by zip code peripheral arterial disease prevalence down to the street level, with the PAD Coalition and support from the Bristol-Myers Squibb/Sanofi Pharmaceuticals partnership.
The PAD Atlas (www.mappad.org) was demonstrated during a launch event on 15 September 2009 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. September is peripheral artery disease awareness month.
“Through timely detection and treatment of peripheral artery disease, we can prevent heart attacks, strokes and even death. By using the PAD Atlas, we can more effectively target educational and advocacy efforts to improve the quality of care and save lives,” said Gwen Twillman, PAD Coalition’s executive director.
Approximately 9 million Americans suffer from peripheral artery disease – a type of cardiovascular disease that primarily affects individuals over 50 years of age. Minorities are disproportionately affected as well. Having peripheral artery disease doubles the risk of a heart attack or stroke. In fact, the PAD Atlas shows that 67% of individuals who have had a stroke live in the 8,615 zip codes identified to have a high prevalence of peripheral artery disease. Undiagnosed and untreated peripheral artery disease also has a dramatic economic impact on the healthcare system. The cities with the most diagnosed cases are Chicago, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Houston and Los Angeles.
Researchers, patient advocacy groups, legislators and allied health professionals can use the PAD Atlas to identify prevalence of the disease at the national, state, and local levels to direct educational resources where they are needed most.
“The launch of the PAD Atlas is of great significance, especially to the racial and ethnic minority community. Being able to identify peripheral artery disease prevalence among constituents is extremely useful to reduce preventable illness and will help raise awareness of and address health disparities in these underserved populations,” said US Representative Donna M. Christensen (Democrat-VI).