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Heart Watch Blog: Groundbreaking Guidelines for Arterial Diseases

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Dec 12, 2005

Groundbreaking Guidelines for Arterial Diseases

Groundbreaking Guidelines for Arterial Diseases
More than 12 million Americans suffer from peripheral arterial disease (PAD), prompting the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) to release today the groundbreaking Peripheral Arterial Disease Guidelines to help physicians and all healthcare professionals better treat this alarmingly common condition.

PAD is generally defined as diseases of the arteries that supply blood to the arteries outside the heart, including those that supply the legs, feet, kidneys, and intestines. These arterial diseases can impair physical health by diminishing an individual's ability to walk. PAD can lead to amputation of the extremities, rupture of an aortic aneurysm, severe hypertension, kidney failure, as well as contribute to current rates of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death.

The new Guidelines, representing best practices for managing diseases of the aorta - the body's main artery - and the arteries that supply blood to the legs, feet, kidneys, and intestines, were developed in collaboration with and approved by the American Association for Vascular Surgery/Society for Vascular Surgery, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Interventional Radiology, Society for Vascular Medicine and Biology, and the ACC/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines.

The PAD Guidelines strongly emphasize the fact that early detection and treatment of peripheral arterial disease can prevent disability and save lives.

A driving force behind the Guidelines was recognition that a wide range of physicians treat peripheral arterial disease, and each brings a different set of tools and knowledge to the task, depending on background and training.

Highlights of the guidelines include:
  • Recommended questions and observations that can uncover hidden signs of peripheral arterial disease;
  • Clinical clues that a patient may have renal artery stenosis, a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the kidney—and a possible cause of poorly controlled high blood pressure or kidney failure;
  • Recommendations on when an aneurysm—a weakening and bulging of the arterial wall—should be treated with surgery or catheter-based therapy, as well as when “watchful waiting” is the best course;
  • A critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of vascular imaging tests and other diagnostic methods;
  • An emphasis on therapeutic choice, including the role of exercise, diet, smoking cessation, and medications, and an objective review of the benefits and drawbacks of surgical and catheter-based therapies; and
  • Clinical pathways and treatment algorithms to guide clinical decision-making.
Daniel      


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Heart disease
About 13 million Americans (about 7 percent of the total population) suffer from coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in American men and women amounting a staggering 20 percent of all causes of death. About half of all deaths related to cardiovascular diseases occur from coronary artery disease. Through this heart watch blog we will have our humble contribution towards making men and women aware of the risks of heart diseases.

Heart Watch Blog: Groundbreaking Guidelines for Arterial Diseases

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