Common risk factors of developing vascular disease:
Gender (Males are more prone to abdominal aortic aneurysms and PAD.)
Smoking or history of smoking
Lack of exercise
High blood pressure
Family history of vascular disease
Peripheral Arterial Disease
What is PAD?
Lower extremity Peripheral Arterial Disease or PAD is a common disease that decreases blood flow to the legs and feet. It is caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries making them too narrow or obstructed.
Symptoms of PAD:
There may be no symptoms of PAD in the early stages. Developing symptoms may include leg pain or leg cramps caused when walking. More severe symptoms may include foot or toe pain at rest that disturbs sleep.
Why should I be screened?
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) can lead to severely debilitating pain in the legs which can progress in severe cases to loss of a limb.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
What is AAA?
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) are serious medical conditions that result when the wall of the aorta progressively weakens and begins to bulge. An aneurysm can be cured permanently when diagnosed early. If left untreated, an abdominal aortic aneurysm can rupture and cause internal bleeding and possibly death.
Symptoms of AAA:
Most people feel no symptoms and an AAA is often detected during unrelated testing. People who are symptomatic have described a pulsing feeling in their abdomen and unexplained, severe pain in the abdomen or lower back.
Carotid Artery Stenosis
What is CAS?
Carotid Artery Stenosis (CAS) results when the carotid arteries in the neck become narrowed or blocked by plaque. This limits blood flow to the brain. Strokes result from obstruction of blood flow to the brain or when pieces of plaque break off and flow to the brain.
Why should I be screened?
Carotid artery disease is a cause of many strokes. It can be easily and accurately diagnosed using an ultrasound scan that is simple, painless, and takes only a few minutes. The results of not treating the disease can be devastating.
Symptoms of CAS:There may be no symptoms of carotid disease in the early stages, and sometimes having a stroke is the first sign of the disease. Typically, strokes have warning signs known as ministrokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). These symptoms usually last a few minutes to a few hours and should be treated as an emergency.
Symptoms of strokes or TIAs include:
- Weakness, numbness, or tingling on one side of the body
- Inability to control movement of a body part
- Loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Inability to speak clearly
- Difficulty talking or comprehending what others are saying
- Dizziness or confusion
For more information about peripheral vascular disease, call FGH OnCall at 1-800-844-4445, then press 1, from 2-10 p.m., seven days a week, or send an e-mail.