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SEPTEMBER 12, 2006
  Invitation to Cover: Cardiovascular Disease Doesn’t Stop at the Heart — Penn Event on September 18 to Screen Media Members for Peripheral Arterial Disease
  P.A.D. Slows Down One in 20 Americans Over the Age of 50
WHAT: How healthy are your legs? Penn is hosting a free screening event for members of the media to look for peripheral arterial disease. P.A.D. is a condition that develops when arteries in the legs become clogged with plaque, limiting the flow of blood to the legs.

This media screening event will help launch the first Stay in Circulation Week, part of a new national public health campaign aimed at increasing public and health care provider awareness of P.A.D.


Monday, September 18
11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

11:00 a.m. Welcoming remarks and explanation of P.A.D. by Emile Mohler, MD, Director of Vascular Medicine at Penn
11:05 a.m. Q & A with Mohler, William Stavropoulos, MD, Interventional Radiologist, and Omaida Velazquez, MD, Vascular Surgeon at Penn
11:10 a.m. A local patient shares his personal story
11:20 a.m. Free screenings for media members in a clinical setting
screenings include: checking your ankle brachial index which measures blood pressure in the legs, plus an ultrasound of your neck to check for blockages in your carotid arteries which supplies blood to your brain
12:00 p.m. Event ends
WHERE: Penn Tower
(across the street from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania)
Civic Center Boulevard at 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
4th Floor, Vascular Medicine Clinical Research Area
Valet & garage parking available at Penn Tower

NOTE: This event is NOT open to the general public.

However, Penn will be holding its annual “Legs for Life” screening event for the public on November 14, 2006 at Houston Hall on the Penn campus. Call (215) 615-4135 to reserve a screening time.

PATIENT STORY: Keeping Up On the Golf Course…
A Penn patient and avid golfer will be on-hand to share his personal story of suffering from P.A.D. Despite the pain in his legs when he walks, Nick still keeps up with his golf swing. This Newtown Square, Pennsylvania resident is a retired aerospace engineer who worked on the oxygen sensors in space shuttles, served in the navy in World War II, and has nearly two-dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Peripheral arterial disease is a common yet serious disease. It occurs when extra cholesterol and fat circulating in the blood collects in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to your limbs. P.A.D. is commonly seen in the arteries in the legs, but it can also affect other arteries outside the heart, including those that lead to the brain, arm, kidneys and stomach.

Nearly 12 million Americans (One in 20) over the age of 50 are living with P.A.D., giving them a two- to six-fold increased risk of death from heart attack and stroke.


  • Are over the age of 50.
  • Smoke or have smoked.
  • Have diabetes.
  • Have high blood pressure.
  • Have high blood cholesterol.
  • Have a personal or family history of vascular disease, heart attack or stroke.
  • Are African American.
  • Are under the age of 50 with diabetes and one other cardiovascular risk factor.

It is important to know that P.A.D. does not always present symptoms. In fact, many of those with P.A.D. do not experience obvious symptoms. For some people, the first sign of P.A.D. is “claudication,” which can feel like fatigue, heaviness, tiredness, cramping or pain in the leg muscles. This discomfort occurs during activity such as walking and promptly goes away at rest. Many times, people think this pain is just a natural part of aging and do not tell their health care providers. However, leg discomfort can be a sign that the leg arteries are clogged.

Other symptoms include: cramping or pain in the legs and/or feet at rest that often disturbs sleep; sores or wounds on toes, feet or legs that heal slowly, poorly or not at all; color changes in the skin of the feet, including paleness or blueness; a lower temperature in one leg compared to the other leg; poor nail growth and decreased hair growth on toes and legs.

At Penn, there are several different specialty areas working to diagnose and treat P.A.D. in our patients including vascular medicine, interventional radiology and vascular surgery.

Vascular Medicine: Penn is considered to be one of the leaders, regionally and nationally, in the new subspecialty of vascular medicine. Several clinical research trials are conducted here to test the use of new drugs for treatment in vascular disease. Penn is also one of the few medical institutions to have a focused vascular medicine program as part of its overall cardiovascular medicine services. Emile Mohler, MD, who serves as the director of vascular medicine at Penn, is also board-certified in vascular medicine (believed to be a first in the Philadelphia region). Penn is a high-volume medical center where cardiology fellows/future doctors are also trained in vascular medicine.

Interventional Radiology: The Penn Interventional Radiology Division, a large I.R. practice, with more than a dozen board-certified I.R. physicians, performs more than 10,000 minimally invasive procedures annually, including angioplasty and stenting for P.A.D.

Vascular Surgery: Penn surgeons from the Division of Vascular Surgery diagnose and treat blood vessel disorders from complex abdominal aortic aneurysms to varicose veins. The Surgery Division has an extensive diagnostic facility that offers patients state-of-the-art technology with minimal trauma. Penn's Division of Vascular Surgery is the most active center in the region, performing more carotid, aortic, and peripheral arterial repairs than any other.

P.A.D. is diagnosed through medical and family history; a physical exam; and screenings such as the ankle-brachial index (ABI) or the Doppler ultrasound.

P.A.D. is treated through lifestyle changes; medication; and in some cases, a special procedure or surgery. The overall goal of treatment for P.A.D. is to reduce symptoms, improve the patient’s quality of life and mobility and to prevent heart attack, stroke and amputation.


PENN Medicine is a $2.9 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals, all of which have received numerous national patient-care honors [Hospital of theUniversity of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center]; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.


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