The EFIM Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Working Group was set up to address the widespread failure to recognise PAD as an important risk factor for future vascular events such as stroke and myocardial infarction. Such patients are often only seen by a vascular surgeon when symptoms become apparent at a late stage in the disease. The Working group brought together opinion leaders in vascular and internal medicine with an unrestricted grant from Bristol Myers Squibb. They met from 2007-8 and produced several documents which are available for download below. The key findings were:

  • PAD affects approximately 16% of the general population aged over 55 years in Europe and North America and is on the increase. 
  • Almost one-third of all patients with PAD around the world are under internist care.
  • PAD is not just a localised disease – it also has serious systemic effects and is a major cause of death and disability.
  • Individuals with PAD have higher risk of serious cardiovascular events within 1 year of diagnosis than those with CAD or CVD – yet physicians and patients are less aware of the risks associated with PAD than of those of MI or ischaemic stroke.
  • More than 20% of individuals with PAD in the general population do not show classical symptoms and are diagnosed through ABI measurement alone – the proportion is much higher in at-risk populations.
  • ABI is a quick, simple and accurate non-invasive test for PAD that can be performed in an office environment by any trained physician or nurse.
  • Early diagnosis and prompt risk factor management to established guidelines can greatly diminish PAD-related disability and death.

Publications from the PAD Working Group:

Peripheral arterial disease: A growing problem for the internist.
Eur J Int Med 2009; 20: 132-138 download pdf (PDF)

Peripheral Arterial Disease Management. A Practical Guide for Internists (May 2008)
download the Booklet (PDF)

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