PERIPHERAL ARTERY DISEASE
ANCHOR LEAD:PERIPHERAL ARTERY DISEASE IS COMMON AND TROUBLING, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
When most of us think of problems with blood vessels, we think of the heart or the brain. But a very common site of blood vessel problems is the legs, and other parts of the body may also be affected. Elizabeth Ratchford is director of the center for so called peripheral artery disease at Johns Hopkins.
RATCHFORD: Everyone with peripheral arterial disease should have three things: risk factor modification, antiplatelet medications or blood thinners, and exercise. Risk factor modification is essentially treating everything that caused the blockages, so we can prevent them from progressing, like smoking cessation, controlling diabetes, controlling blood pressure and controlling cholesterol, so the statin medications are particularly important, and antiplatelet therapy is usually just aspirin, and sometimes clopidogrel or Plavix, and then exercise is critical. :30
Ratchford says diagnosing this problem involves simply comparing blood pressure in arms and legs. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.