Peripheral Artery Disease

PAD is a disease in which blood vessels outside the heart and the brain are narrowed either due to build up of fatty deposits (atherosclerosis) or due to some other cause. PAD affects 8-12 million Americans with estimates of increasing prevalence to the point of affecting up to 16 million Americans age 65 or older by 2050.1 This disorder usually causes cramping in the legs during activity that is termed intermittent claudication. A similar prevalence is observed in Europe suggesting that PAD may be a significant contributor to CVD as time progresses. Individuals with PAD have a four- to fivefold higher risk of mortality due to a cardiovascular event. The pharmacological management of PAD involves the use of antithrombotic agents that either prevents clotting through inhibition of coagulation (anticoagulants) or through prevention of platelet aggregation (antiplatelet agents). Surgical approaches to the management of this disease are also becoming popular. This particular area has seen the development of many new agents and should see the development of many more in the future.

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