n South African Medical Journal - Screening for peripheral arterial disease : continuing medical education




Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of coronary, cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) worldwide. Sedentary lifestyle, stress and high-fat/carbohydrate diets have contributed significantly to the rising prevalence of atherosclerosis in most populations. Preventive strategies are currently aimed at curbing the socio-economic burden of atherosclerotic disease and its consequences in healthcare systems. While myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accidents are the two leading causes of mortality and long-term morbidity, atherosclerotic PAD remains an accurate marker of more generalised disease. Screening programmes for at-risk individuals with undiagnosed PAD should therefore be beneficial in preventing future cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. This article reviews the evidence and benefits of selective screening for PAD.


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