Michael Omidi, MD looks at the significant increase in peripheral artery disease worldwide and what may be causing it.
According to recent reports that examined peripheral artery disease over the course of the last decade, worldwide rates of PAD have risen by almost 25%. These studies revealed that more than 200 million individuals now have the condition, which reduces blood flow to the brain and heart and can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Lead author of the study, Gerry Fowkes of the University of Edinburgh, stated that these findings are a “call to action” due to the increased numbers and the small degree of attention that had previously been paid to this disease. The expectation is that more individuals will begin to experience PAD in the coming years due to longer life expectancy and changing lifestyles (factors that have contributed to the dramatic rise over the last decade). This means that we must begin increasing awareness and improving prevention methods now.
In the report some of the most important findings consisted of the main demographics that suffer from peripheral artery disease. Those populations suffering from PAD broke down in the following ways:
- Low-income countries experienced an increase of 29% in the number of those suffering from the disease, while high-income nations saw an increase of 13%.
- Among men the disease rates were higher in high-income nations than middle- or low-income areas. In contrast, the rates of disease among women were higher in middle- and low-income nations.
- The majority of those suffering from PAD were located in middle- or low-income nations (roughly 70%) specifically in southeast Asian and western Pacific areas.
The primary risk factors for peripheral artery disease are typically preventable or treatable as well; the main risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, and high cholesterol. Hopefully this study will shed light on PAD, the increasing concern it is causing worldwide, and how easy treatment and prevention can be.
By Michael Omidi, MD