This from our combined USC and James Cook University team. Bottom line: There are lots of opportunities to make an impact to optimize best medical therapy.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the occlusion or narrowing of the arteries supplying the lower extremities. Peripheral artery disease has been estimated to affect approximately 240 million people worldwide, approximately 70% of whom are within low- or middle-income countries. Due to the ageing population and diabetes epidemic, the prevalence of PAD is rapidly rising. The symptoms of PAD are heterogeneous and thus a high index of suspicion is needed to prevent delays in diagnosis and treatment. Measurement of ankle brachial pressure index or arterial duplex ultrasound are traditionally used to diagnose PAD. Patients with PAD have a high risk of major adverse cardiovascular events. Early diagnosis and implementation of secondary cardiovascular prevention is therefore critical. This includes therapies to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, such as statins, ezetimibe and proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors, blood-pressure reducing medications and anti-thrombotic drugs. Treatments to facilitate smoking cessation and control blood sugar if relevant and an exercise programme are also critical in reducing cardiovascular risk. Currently, these treatments are not well implemented. This review summarises the clinical presentation, risk factors and medical management of PAD. Global efforts are needed to reduce the burden from the growing PAD epidemic by implementing best practices and improving outcomes through further research.
Current Management of Peripheral Artery Disease: Focus on Pharmacotherapy