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Arch Med Sci. 2012 May 9;8(2):375-88. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2012.28568.

Peripheral arterial disease of the lower extremities.

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  • 1Cardiology Division, New York Medical College, USA.


Persons with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) are at increased risk for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and mortality from coronary artery disease. Smoking should be stopped and hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, and hypothyroidism treated. Statins reduce the incidence of intermittent claudication and improve exercise duration until the onset of intermittent claudication in persons with PAD and hypercholesterolemia. The serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol should be reduced to < 70 mg/dl. Antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin or clopidogrel, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and statins should be given to persons with PAD. β-Blockers should be given if coronary artery disease is present. Cilostazol improves exercise time until intermittent claudication. Exercise rehabilitation programs should be used. Revascularization should be performed if indicated.


antiplatelet drugs; exercise; peripheral arterial disease; revascularization; statins

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