DOI: 10.1097/fjc.0000000000001556 ISSN: 0160-2446

A Practical Guide to Understanding and Treating Peripheral Artery Disease

Maya R. Chilbert, Ashley E. Woodruff, Kelly C. Rogers
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is the third leading cause of atherosclerotic morbidity after coronary heart disease and stroke yet is widely underdiagnosed and undertreated. Treatment of risk factors such as diabetes and cigarette smoking can benefit patients with PAD. Patients should have adequate blood pressure and lipid control to decrease clinical manifestations and symptoms of PAD. Use of antithrombotic medications should be individualized to the patient depending on presence of symptoms, revascularization, and comorbidities. All patient care providers, including physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants should incorporate PAD screening in their at-risk patients to improve access for appropriate earlier diagnosis, initiation of guideline directed therapy, and risk factor modification in order to reduce both major adverse CV and limb outcomes. The purpose of this narrative review is to provide an overview of PAD, summarize clinical trial evidence and guideline recommendations for screening and treatment in order to increase awareness among health care providers to ultimately have a positive impact on patient care.

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