Vascular care leaders stress importance of PAD education and intervention to reduce limb loss in America by asking lawmakers to join Congressional PAD Caucus
WASHINGTON – Today marks the start of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness Month and this September the CardioVascular Coalition (CVC), a leading group of providers, physicians, and manufacturers, commends lawmakers Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ-10) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12) for launching the new Congressional PAD Caucus to educate Congress and communities about PAD while supporting legislative activities to improve PAD research, education, and treatment. The ultimate goal of the caucus is to advance policies to prevent non-traumatic amputation due to PAD and other related diseases.
With the launch of the PAD caucus this September, CVC also urges healthcare leaders, patient advocates and other stakeholders to take part in increasing PAD awareness by asking lawmakers to join the caucus to expand Congressional knowledge about this disease.
PAD is a life-threatening circulatory condition, which affects nearly 20 million Americans and an estimated 200,000 of them are disproportionately from minority communities. It is a chronic condition, which causes narrowing or blockage of the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs. The primary cause of PAD is the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Estimates suggest that anywhere from 12 to 20 percent of individuals over the age of 60 are living with PAD.
If not properly diagnosed and managed, PAD can lead to non-traumatic lower limb amputations, which data show lead to lower quality of life and increased risk for death. Estimates suggest 54 percent of limb loss in the U.S. is the result of vascular disease, including PAD.
“As we recognize PAD Awareness Month, I am encouraged to see lawmakers dedicating attention to PAD and coalescing around solutions to address research, education, and treatment through the PAD Caucus. It is a needed first step in acknowledging PAD as a mounting health concern nationwide, and particularly among minority communities. We look forward to working with Congressmen Payne and Bilirakis and their colleagues to advance policy solutions to increase understanding of PAD to ultimately reduce preventable amputations,” said Jeffrey G. Carr, MD, FACC.
Underserved communities are at greatest risk for developing PAD. African Americans, for example, are twice as likely to be diagnosed with PAD and up to 3 times more likely to have an amputation than white Americans. Hispanic Americans are 50 to 75 percent more likely to undergo an amputation and Native Americans are twice as likely to undergo an amputation than Caucasians.
“By launching the PAD Caucus, Congressmen Payne and Bilirakis are showing true leadership in the vascular community, emphasizing the need for increased awareness so that more at risk populations are prepared to recognize the symptoms to enable early diagnosis, which is the key to preventing limb loss,” Dr. Carr continued.
The CVC urges patients to be aware of symptoms, which include leg pain, numbness, tingling, or coldness in the lower legs or feet, and sores or infections of the feet or legs that heal slowly. By being properly aware of this disease and the treatments available, patients can avoid limb loss.
To access more information about PAD Awareness Month, CLICK HERE.
To ask your lawmakers to join the PAD Caucus, CLICK HERE.
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