News / Health

Study Finds Alarming Rise in Peripheral Artery Disease

Study: Alarming Rise In Peripheral Artery Diseasei
X
August 01, 2013 11:45 AM
The number of people around the world with peripheral artery disease, or PAD ((P-A-D)), has risen dramatically -- by almost 25 percent -- in just 10 years -- according to a new study in the Lancet medical journal. People with PAD have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. They live with irreversible disability. And as VOA’s Carol Pearson reports, they are likely to live in low or middle income countries.
TEXT SIZE - +
Carol Pearson
The number of people around the world with peripheral artery disease, or PAD, has risen dramatically -- by almost 25 percent -- in just 10 years -- according to a new study in the Lancet medical journal.   People with PAD have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.  They live with irreversible disability, and are likely to live in low or middle income countries.

Many people who have peripheral artery disease don't know they have it.

Researchers have found that stroke patients with PAD are three times as likely to have a second stroke, a heart attack, or die a few years after having the initial stroke.

PAD is a circulatory problem.  It occurs when fatty deposits in the arteries restrict blood flow to the legs and feet.

The disease severely limits the ability to walk.  Tissue can die, and gangrene can set in, requiring amputation.

Estimates suggest that PAD is increasing in every region of the world.  Yet until now, there was no global study on its prevalence.  The first one was just published in the Lancet medical journal.

Dr. Alan Hirsch wrote a comment on the study, conducted by researchers at the University of Edinburgh.

"No single study can answer the question of why PAD is so common and increasing in prevalence, but these authors and other research would suggest that it’s a combination of a wider exposure to the risk factors that cause artery blockages like smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and [high] cholesterol," he explained.

But of all the risk factors, he said, one stands out. "Without a doubt the most important one is tobacco in all of its forms," he said.

The research shows that peripheral artery disease is expected to continue to rise dramatically, and that 70 percent of those who have PAD live in low or middle income countries, mainly in southeast Asia and the western Pacific regions.

Hirsch said the study should be a call to action for public health officials around the world to start education campaigns. "When a disease is this common, the answer is usually prevention, and prevention starts with an awareness of risk," he noted.

The key, he said, is to persuade people to give up bad habits. Hirsch said that for a pandemic already affecting a quarter of a billion people, local, national and international health officials have to start getting the word out now.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid