'Screen patients for PAD and use the results'

At-risk patients should be screened for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and the results should be incorporated into cardiovascular risk tools, says a US expert.

The recommendation follows analysis of data from US National Health and Nutrition Surveys over three consecutive years, which showed that prevalence of PAD in asymptomatic patients in the US is rising.

A previous study showed that one in five people with PAD will have a major cardiovascular event (GP, 30 March 2007).

Now data from the US shows that prevalence of PAD among the asymptomatic population has increased from 3.7 per cent in 1999/2000 to 4.6 per cent in 2003/4.

The increase was most pronounced among women, rising from 4.1 to 6.3 per cent in four years.

This coincided with a rise in obesity among females with PAD, from 32.4 to 47 per cent.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

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