CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Sept. 12, 2002
UI Health Care to again screen for Peripheral Vascular Disease
University of Iowa Health Care specialists will conduct free screenings
this month for people at risk for Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), a progressive
and debilitating disease affecting eight million Americans.
Other tests, including cholesterol checks and ultrasound examinations that
can detect life-threatening aneurysms in the abdomen, will also be provided
free of charge. The screenings will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 28 at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins
Drive in Iowa City.
Frequently associated with a stroke or heart attack, PVD is caused by decreased
blood flow in the arteries of the legs and often leads to pain, difficulty
walking, infections or sores on the feet that are slow to heal, coldness,
tingling or numbness in the feet or legs, hair loss and skin discoloration.
UI Hospitals and Clinics is taking part in "Legs for Life: National
Screening Week for PVD Leg Pain" the week of September 22-28. The Society
of Interventional Radiology, the national professional society of interventional
radiologists, is sponsoring the program. Endovascular specialists, including
interventional radiologists, treat PVD and many other conditions, using minimally-invasive
procedures that are alternatives to traditional surgery. The event is being
coordinated by Patricia Thorpe, M.D., director of the Division of Vascular/Interventional
Radiology in the UI Department of Radiology, working in conjunction with Jamal
Hoballah, M.D., director of the Division of Vascular Surgery in the UI Department
of Surgery, and Theresa Brennan, M.D., director of UI Clinical Cardiovascular
Services. Physicians and staff from these areas are volunteering their time
to make the UI Health Care screenings possible.
"Early detection and treatment of vascular disease is important and
can be key to interventional treatment of blockages," Thorpe said. "The
sooner PVD is detected, the better the chance of managing the disease with
exercise, diet improvement and smoking cessation, or balloon angioplasty and
stents. Thats why we feel this screening is a valuable public health
It is necessary to make an appointment for the screening by calling UI Health
Access at (800) 777-8442 or (319) 384-8442. Screening participants will be
provided with convenient, close-in parking at no cost. Valet services will
also be available free of charge.
To reach the screening site, participants can turn east off Hawkins Drive
(at the traffic light on the south end of Kinnick Stadium) and park at the
south entrance of the John Pappajohn Pavilion.
Thorpe added, "It is also crucial to understand that PVD is strongly
associated with a high risk for a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, PVD should
be regarded as an early warning sign of the possible presence of otherwise
asymptomatic but potentially serious cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.
Patients with diabetes often have silent vascular disease."
In addition to being at risk for heart attacks and strokes, people with
PVD also face an increased risk for an abdominal aortic aneurysm, the 14th
leading cause of death, due to disease, and the 17th leading cause of death
overall in the United States. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a weakening
or ballooning of the aorta, the main vessel that transports oxygenated blood
from the heart to the rest of the body. Over a period of time, the walls of
the aorta in the area of the aneurysm become increasingly weaker and, if it
grows large enough, the aneurysm may burst.
People with appointments to be screened will be asked to fill out a questionnaire
and information form, to help determine their risks for PVD and abdominal
aortic aneurysm. A brief screening examination will be done, to obtain blood
pressure readings in the person's arm, ankle and abdomen, to further assess
their potential for disease. People who appear to be at moderate or high risk
for PVD or abdominal aortic aneurysm will be advised to be seen by their personal
physician, for additional evaluation.
Vascular disease, such as PVD, is most common among men and women over the
age of 50, people diagnosed with diabetes, smokers and people with high blood
pressure or high cholesterol.
"PVD starts so quietly that many people dont realize that they
have a problem," said Thorpe. "Many think they are simply feeling
the natural effects of aging. Vascular symptoms are often confused with arthritis
or sciatic nerve pain."
In previous UI Hospitals and Clinics screenings, nearly one out of four
patients was found to be at moderate or high risk for PVD and referred to
their primary care physicians for further evaluation. For more information
about "Legs for Life," visit the program site online at www.legsforlife.org.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between
the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and
UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research
programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.