What is PAD and CLI?
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a disease of the blood vessels in the limbs, most commonly in the legs1. PAD occurs when arteries become narrow or clogged, frequently due to atherosclerosis1, 3. Atherosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries"2, 3, is a gradual process in which cholesterol and/or scar tissue build up on the walls of the arteries and form a plaque3. This plaque narrows and clogs the arteries, restricting normal blood flow. This restriction can eventually cause pain in the affected limb2, 3. While many people have mild or no symptoms, if left untreated, PAD can lead to critical limb ischemia (CLI), a serious form of the disease4, 5.
CLI symptoms can increase in severity from rest pain, to ulcers, to gangrene, eventually requiring amputation in some patients6.
Published Statistics about PAD
- A recent analysis suggests 17.6 million Americans have PAD and this number is growing7.
- PAD affects 12-20% of Americans age 65 and older8.
- PAD prevalence increases with age9.
- Only 20-30% of PAD patients are actively being treated10.
- Only 10% of people with PAD have the classic symptom of intermittent claudication (leg pain w/ exercise)11, 12.
- Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that 2/3 people with PAD have no symptoms, while 1/4 have severe PAD13.
- The strongest risk factors for PAD are diabetes and smoking14.
- A telephone survey of over 2500 adults age 50 and older revealed that only 26% were familiar with PAD. Only 14% were aware that PAD could lead to amputation15.
- PAD causes impaired function and quality of life, even for people not reporting symptoms16-18.
Published Statistics about CLI
- Quality of life for CLI is poor and has been compared to terminal cancer19-22.
- 25-40% of CLI patients will not be candidates for traditional revascularization procedures23-26 and their only option is eventual amputation.
- The negative effects of amputation are significant and include: 20% death rate at 6 months27; 25% failed rehabilitation rate, requiring long term care28; 3 year costs greater than $63,00029.
- There are approximately 150,000 cases of CLI per year in the United States27.
- There are more than 130,000 amputations per year in the United States30.
- PAD and CLI populations are on the rise28.
- The primary treatment for approximately 25% of patients with CLI is amputation 24.
- It is estimated 25% of people with CLI will die within 1 year following initial treatment24.
- Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/peripheral-arterial-disease/DS00537)
- Vascular web provided by The Society for Vascular Surgery (www.vascularweb.org)
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