-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- People with peripheral
artery disease have an increased short- and long-term risk of death
after undergoing a procedure to open clogged heart arteries, a new
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a build-up of plaque in the
blood vessels of the legs and organs of the body. These cholesterol
blockages can interfere with blood flow and cause pain and cramping
in the legs, sores that don't heal properly, abdominal pain, high
blood pressure and other health problems.
For the study, researchers looked at data from nearly 2,500
heart disease patients who underwent percutaneous coronary
intervention (which includes both angioplasty and stenting) to open
clogged heart arteries. Of those patients, 7 percent also had
peripheral artery disease.
The death rate while patients were in hospital immediately after
the procedure was much higher for those with peripheral artery
disease than those without the disease -- 1.7 percent vs. 0.1
percent. There was not a significant difference between the two
groups in their rates of heart attack, stroke and other major
Over an average follow-up of 4.4 years, the patients with
peripheral artery disease also had a much higher death rate than
those without the disease -- 23.8 percent vs. 10.8 percent. But
after the researchers took into account other medical conditions
and factors that might influence patients' health, long-term death
rates were similar for patients with and without peripheral artery
This finding highlights the importance of ongoing preventive
measures (healthy diet, adequate exercise) To manage cholesterol
levels, diabetes and high blood pressure in patients with
peripheral artery disease who undergo angioplasty and stenting,
according to Dr. Konstantinos Charitakis, a cardiology fellow at
New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, and
Charitakis was scheduled to present the findings Wednesday at a
meeting of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and
Interventions (SCAI) in Las Vegas.
"People with peripheral [artery] disease tend to have worse outcomes over the long term, and it may be because they have many other health problems that increase the severity of atherosclerosis and make it more likely they'll have a heart attack or stroke in the future," Charitakis said in an SCAI news release. "If we focus on treating those health problems, we may be able to improve long-term outcomes in this high-risk group of patients."
Research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as
preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more
peripheral artery disease.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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