March 6, 2009
Many people over age 50 who have leg pain while walking often chalk it up to aging, unaware they may have a potentially life-threatening, yet treatable condition called Peripheral Vascular Disease or PVD. With PVD, the arteries in the legs become clogged, much like the arteries in the heart, and can be a warning sign of a potential heart attack, stroke or a life-threatening aneurysm.
In an effort to help identify people who may be at risk for PVD, St. Joseph Hospital and the physicians at Vascular Interventional Associates will be hosting a free “Legs For Life” screening on Monday, March 30 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the hospital’s Community Room located at 2605 Harlem Road in Cheektowaga.
During the screening exam, participants will be asked to fill out a brief lifestyle questionnaire to help determine their risk for PVD. The exam includes a simple, painless ABI test that compares blood pressure in the arm and ankle to determine risk for PVD. Patients found to be at moderate to high risk for PVD will be referred to their primary care physician for further evaluation.
Besides pain while walking, other symptoms of PVD include swelling, numbness and skin discoloration in the legs. People who suffer from diabetes, are overweight, inactive, smoke or who have high blood pressure or cholesterol, and those over age 50 are at increased risk for PVD. Treatment options can range from simple lifestyle changes – including diet modifications and exercise – to medication or minimally invasive procedures such as angioplasty or surgery, depending on the severity of the disease.
The Legs for Life screening is free and open to people over age 50 who meet screening eligibility requirements. Reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, call Catholic Health’s HealthConnection at 706-2112.