Significance of close surveillance of patients with peripheral arterial disease.Angiology. 2009 Aug-Sep; 60(4):462-7.A
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) indicates generalized atherosclerosis but is still underdiagnosed and undertreated.
Data were collected from patients with PAD from the Department of Cardiology and Angiology, University of Heidelberg, Germany. The prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and medication were documented.
Atherogenic risk factors, cardiovascular disease, and cerebrovascular disease were highly prevalent. By continuous care at the university clinic, in addition to family medicine treatment, the use of platelet inhibitors, antihypertensives, and lipid-lowering therapy was increased. Ankle-brachial index and walking distance improved.
Long-term treatment at the university clinic had positive effects on atherogenic risk factors. The regular use of secondary preventive medication was improved. Still, this patient population remained undertreated and showed a high incidence of vascular event rates and a need for vascular interventions. This study implies the importance of both specialists and general practitioners in the care of these individuals.