Missed Opportunities: Making a Case for Screening Those at Risk for Peripheral Arterial Disease

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Abstract

Peripheral arterial disease is a significant public health issue in the United States, especially for older adults, African Americans, smokers, and those with a history of coronary artery disease, diabetes, elevated C-reactive protein levels, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and overweight and obesity. Approximately half of the 8 million to 12 million individuals in the United States with peripheral arterial disease are asymptomatic and undiagnosed, but they are at a significant risk for amputation, death, and stroke. This commentary describes peripheral arterial disease as a public health issue, discusses the cost associated with the disease, makes a case for screening individuals at risk, identifies the benefits of screening, and challenges the reader to be active in performing ankle-brachial index screenings on individuals at risk for the disease.

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