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Vascular Health Screening Scheduled For Oct. 4

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Two Rivers, Wis. - Aurora Health Center, 5300 Memorial Drive, invites the community to a vascular screening from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 4.

Patients will immediately review the results with a medical professional after their screenings have been completed.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), also known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), is a very common condition affecting 12 to 20 percent of Americans age 65 and older. PAD develops most commonly as a result of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This occurs when cholesterol and scar tissue builds up and forms a substance called plaque that narrows and clogs the arteries.

"Atherosclerosis is a serious disease leading to stroke, heart attack, abdominal aneurysm rupture and blood flow impairment to the legs causing disability," said Timothy Maatman, M.D., an internal medicine physician at Aurora Health Care. "These tests help to identify those with the disease who have increased risk of vascular events."

The screening takes less than 45 minutes and includes:

·Ankle brachial blood pressure index - This procedure is similar to a blood pressure check. Blood pressure is taken on both arms and legs. The leg blood pressure is then compared to arm blood pressure.

·Ultrasound of the carotid and abdominal aortic arteries - The ultrasound of these two arteries will detect arterial blockage and an aneurysm.

·Medical staff consultation - After the screenings, patients will meet with a medical professional to review the results and receive personalized information about lifestyle changes and suggestions for further evaluations, if necessary.

·Custom health report - Each patient will receive a customized health report. With the patient's consent, his primary care physician can also be notified and given a copy of the screening results.

"People can make lifestyle adjustments to reduce their risk of atherosclerosis and PAD," Maatman said. Risk factors of PAD include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, family history of heart or vascular disease, being overweight and lack of physical activity. "Some of these risk factors can be altered to reduce atherosclerosis and the risk of vascular events."

Individuals experiencing leg pain; numbness; tingling; coldness or pain in the lower legs and feet; or have ulcers or open sores on their legs and feet, should consider this screening. Individuals with a family history of heart disease, stroke or vascular disease, or who have hypertension or high cholesterol may also benefit from the screening.

The vascular health screening costs $75. To register, call (920) 793-6520.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Jen Strebel (920-496-6369)

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