Features September 2016 Issue

Statins May Help Reduce Risk of Amputation in PAD Patients

In an ankle-brachial index test, blood pressure in the ankle is compared to blood pressure in the arm. A low index number suggests arterial narrowing and the possibility of peripheral artery disease.

Statins May Help Reduce Risk of Amputation in PAD Patients

Badly narrowed leg arteries can lead to amputation if muscles and tissue don’t get enough circulation. Research suggests statins may be the key.

PAD results when plaque buildup in your leg arteries causes them to narrow to the point where blood flow is severely diminished to the muscles and tissue of the legs. If the tissue becomes so starved for oxygenated blood, it can start to die. In some cases, amputating the leg is the only way to save a life. “Statins can prevent cardiovascular events in PAD patients, such as heart attack and stroke, and some recent data suggest maybe they help with preventing limb events, too,” says Cleveland Clinic vascular specialist Heather Gornik, MD.

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