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Legs for Life--free screenings for people suffering leg pain (9/02/98)

Eight area hospitals will conduct free screening programs for people who suffer from leg pain to determine if they are at risk for a common condition known as Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). PAD, which affects tens of thousands of Americans, according to the Society of Cardiovascular & Interventional Radiology (SCVIR), is caused by blocked blood flow in the arteries of the legs and can cause pain or swelling, difficulty walking, numbness and skin discoloration.

The hospitals are taking part in Legs For Life National Screening Program for PAD Leg Pain, Sept. 27 to Oct. 3, sponsored by the SCVIR, a national professional society of interventional radiologists. The SCVIR treats PAD and many other conditions, using minimally invasive procedures which are often alternatives to conventional surgery.

Hospitals participating in the Legs for Life screening week, screening sites and screening dates include:

Brooke Army Medical Center - Fort Sam Houston Post Exchange
Sunday, Sept. 27

Brooke Army Medical Center
Monday, Sept. 28 through Oct. 2

Metropolitan Methodist Hospital
Saturday, Oct. 3

NE Methodist Hospital
Saturday, Oct. 3

SA Community Hospital
Saturday, Sept. 26

Santa Rosa Hospital - Downtown Health Care Center
Saturday, Sept. 26

Santa Rosa NW
Saturday, Oct. 3

University Health System - University Clinic
Thursday, Oct. 1

Wilford Hall Medical Center
Tuesday, Sept. 29 & Wednesday, Sept. 30

People who have PAD symptoms are invited to attend a free screening. Appointments are required and can be made by calling the hospitals at 1-800-962-8305. Participants will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and information form to help determine their risk factors for PAD. A brief screening exam will include arm and ankle blood pressure checks to further assess the potential of disease. People who appear to be at moderate or high risk for PAD will be advised to see their physicians for additional evaluation.

Vascular disease such as PAD is most common among men and women over age 50 who are suffering from diabetes, who smoke and who have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. PAD begins so quietly that some people may not realize they have a problem. Many people think their leg aches are simply due to the natural effects of aging.

Early detection and treatment of vascular disease is important. The earlier it is identified and treated, the better a person's chance of controlling it with exercise, improved diet and, if the person smokes, smoking cessation.

The Legs for Life screening program is not a complete medical exam but is intended to help identify people who have risk factors for PAD and to refer them to their own physicians.

Contact: Myong Covert (210) 567-2570