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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2011 December;102(6):483-500

language: English

Peripheral arterial disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm in elderly people

Aronow W. S.

Center for Educational Innovations Project Quality Research, Westchester Medical Center, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, USA


Patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) are at increased risk for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and mortality from coronary artery disease. Smoking should be stopped and hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, and hypothyroidism treated. Statins decrease the incidence of intermittent claudication and improve exercise duration until the onset of intermittent claudication in patients with PAD and hypercholesterolemia. The serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol should be reduced to <70 mg/dL. Antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin or clopidogrel, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and statins should be given to patients with PAD. Beta blockers should be given if coronary artery disease is present. Cilostazol improves exercise time until intermittent claudication. Exercise rehabilitation programs should be used. Revascularization should be performed if indicated. Patients with an infrarenal or juxtarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) measuring 5.5 cm or larger should undergo repair to eliminate the risk of rupture. Patients with an infrarenal or juxtarenal AAA measuring 4.0 to 5.4 cm in diameter should be monitored by ultrasound or computed tomographic scans every 6 to 12 months to detect expansion. Patients with an AAA should undergo intensive risk factor modification, be treated with ACE inhibitors, statins, and beta blockers, and undergo surgery if indicated.

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