This atherosclerotic blockage, by itself, is usually considered
to be irreversible, but the rate at which it develops can be markedly blocked
by a good, healthy lifestyle and by the use of medications that lower the
importance of these risk factors.
ANNOUNCER: But to lower the risk factors of PAD, people
must be properly informed about the disease itself.
8-12 million Americans are living with this condition,
and up to 8.6 million of these people are without symptoms.
Even those who are symptomatic often mistake the symptoms
for something else.
RON GORKE: I’d walk maybe 100 yards and I’d start
to get a pain in my buttocks. A kind of a numbness and then it would run
down my leg into my calf and I’d have to stop for maybe five minutes and
then I could go again. I thought I had a bad hip so I didn’t pay too much
attention to it. This went on for about a year and then I decided I better
go and get it checked out.
ALAN HIRSCH, MD: I consider peripheral arterial
disease to have been a silent epidemic, and silent because of a combination
of factors that need to be recognized. It's been silent inasmuch
as many patients themselves don't recognize the symptom as being one of
a disease that can be altered with medical therapy.