The CardioVascular Coalition (CVC)—a group of community-based cardiovascular and endovascular care providers, physicians, and manufacturers created to advance community-based solutions designed to improve awareness, prevention, and intervention of vascular disease—is urging healthcare leaders, policymakers, patient advocates and other stakeholders to join them in recognising September as “Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness Month”, a time designated to increasing awareness about the disease and treatment options to save limbs and lives.
“Early diagnosis and clinically-appropriate intervention of PAD are critically important for our patients who, if undiagnosed and untreated, can face limb loss as a result of their disease,” says said Jeffrey G Carr, an interventional cardiologist and endovascular specialist and the physician lead for the CardioVascular Coalition. “Sadly, too many people experience limb loss as a result of PAD despite the fact that treatments and technologies are available that can prevent amputation. PAD Awareness Month is an important opportunity to increase awareness because, across the board, patients know far too little about PAD. By supporting PAD Awareness Month, we hope to change that.”
Underserved communities are at an even greater risk for both diabetes and PAD. For example, a CAV press release says that in the USA, African Americans are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with PAD and are at an increased risk of complications from diabetes, according to research analysing the prevalence of, and risk factors for, PAD in the USA.
While not every patient experiences symptoms of PAD, the CVC urges patients to be aware of the symptoms, which include leg pain, numbness, tingling, or coldness in the lower legs or feet, and sores of infections of the feet or legs that heal slowly.