-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with blocked leg
arteries are less likely to suffer complications after a procedure
to open their arteries if they quit smoking and take aspirin and
cholesterol-lowering statins, a new study indicates.
However, too few patients take such steps to relieve leg pain
and cramping associated with peripheral artery disease, also known
as PAD, according to the researchers.
The new study of more than 1,300 patients found that only about
47 percent of them did not smoke and were taking aspirin and a
statin -- drugs that can reduce blood clots and improve blood flow
-- when they were admitted to hospital for a peripheral vascular
intervention, such as angioplasty, which is performed to open
blocked leg arteries and improve blood flow.
When they were discharged from hospital, 71 percent of the
patients were taking aspirin and a statin and either did not smoke
or still smoked but had counseling to help them quit smoking.
Six months after undergoing the vascular procedure, the rate of
complications -- such as repeat peripheral vascular intervention,
surgery to save the limb, and amputation -- was 7 percent for those
who took aspirin and statin and nearly 16 percent for those who did
not, according to the study released online in advance of print
publication in the journal
Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions.
"The modest improvement in statin prescription before patients were discharged signifies a missed opportunity to provide a life-saving intervention for PAD patients," study author Dr. P. Michael Grossman, an interventional cardiologist at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, said in a university news release.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more
peripheral artery disease.
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