Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a progressive disease most often due to atherosclerosis and characterized by obstruction of arterial blood flow in the lower limbs. The defining symptom of PAD, intermittent claudication, is evident in only a minority of patients, leading to frequent underdiagnosis. Patients with PAD are more likely to suffer from polyvascular disease than patients with other cardiovascular conditions and have an increased risk of cardiovascular death and ischemic events. This review considers current PAD awareness and treatment, including important findings from the REduction of Atherothrombosis for Continued Health (REACH) and PAD Awareness, Risk and Treatment: New Resources for Survival (PARTNERS) registries. Information on simple diagnostic tools to aid early PAD detection and therapeutic options for global atherosclerosis risk factor management are also presented.
Keywords: Peripheral arterial disease, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, secondary prevention, ankle-brachial index
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