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Too little focus on lifestyle, preventing symptoms in peripheral artery disease


​(Reuters Health) - Many patients with peripheral artery disease, a common cause of chronic disability and mobility limitations in the elderly, aren't counseled on lifestyle changes and medications that can help prevent symptoms from worsening, a U.S. study suggests.

Researchers examined data from 2005 to 2012 in a nationally representative sample of 1,982 patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD), which restricts blood flow to the limbs and extremities. They found consistently low use of recommended medications and lifestyle counseling to relieve symptoms and prevent complications like infections, open sores, strokes and heart attacks.
 
"Patients with PAD tend to receive less guideline-recommended treatment than patients with coronary artery disease, even though PAD is an even bigger risk factor for death," said study co-author Dr. Joseph Ladapo of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.