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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2007 December;48(6):735-40

language: English

Risk factor awareness in patients with peripheral arterial disease

Coughlin P. A., Gulati V., Mavor A. I. D., Gough M. J., Homer-Vanniasinkam S.

Vascular Surgical Unit The General Infirmary at Leeds Leeds, UK


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Aim. This study was designed to determine how aware patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) were with regard to the risk factors (RF) associated with atherosclerosis.
Methods. Seventy patients (49 men; median age 72 years, range 42-89 years) with PAD admitted as inpatients to the department of vascular surgery over a three-month period were asked to complete a single-paged questionnaire. Data were also obtained from the hospital notes with regard to gender, age, actual RFs that each patient suffered from, admission route (elective or acute), drug history and diagnosis.
Results. Diabetes mellitus (DM): 16 patients (23%) had DM, 15 (94%) of whom were aware of their condition, but only 5 (31%) believed DM to be a vascular RF. Smoking: 53 patients (76%) were either current smokers or had recently stopped smoking, only 31 (58%) of which knew smoking to be a cardiovascular RF. Hypercholestero-laemia: 41patients (59%) had been diagnosed with hypercholesterolaemia, 29 (71%) of which actually knew their cholesterol level was elevated, but only 10 (25%) believed it to be a RF for vascular disease. Hypertension: 40 patients (57%) were known hypertensives, 75% of which knew that they had hypertension but only 10% knew that it was a RF for vascular disease.
Conclusion. RF awareness amongst patients with PAD is suboptimal. Intensive efforts need to be undertaken to educate this patient cohort in order to improve consciousness for best medical therapy.

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