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Archive - 05 - 2006
American Heart Association rapid access journal reportMay 31, 2006 (EurekAlert) - Cigarette smoking and high cholesterol predict risk for some forms of peripheral artery disease (PAD), while diabetes predicts risk for other forms of the disease, researchers reported in a rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.Researchers examined risk factors for PAD progression in large blood vessels (LV-PAD) and in small blood vessels (SV-PAD). PAD is characterized by clogged arteries outside the heart or brain - most often in the legs. An estimated 8 million people in the United States have PAD.When large leg vessels are involved, the classic symptom is painful cramping in the hips, thighs or calves that occurs during exercise and eases after a few minutes of rest. With small vessels, the feet may be cool to the touch, heal slowly when injured, and in extreme cases require amputation.Researchers identified several risk factors that influence the evolution of LV-PAD. Smoking appeared to be the most powerful predictor that PAD would get worse."Smoking cessation is the most efficient way to slow the progression of PAD, along with altering cholesterol levels through diet, exercise and medication," said study lead author Victor Aboyans, M.D., Ph.D. "By highlighting and focusing preventive efforts on the risk factors, we can improve the prognosis."Aboyans a cardiologist and epidemiologist at the Dupuytren University Hospital in Limoges, France conducted this study while a visiting scholar in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.He and colleagues examined 403 men and women (average age 69) with LV-PAD and 290 with SV-PAD (average age 68) who were previously suspected of having PAD and underwent evaluation. For the current analysis, results from these initial examinations were compared with new tests performed an average of 4.6 years later.Researchers compared blood pressure readings in the ankles and toes with those in the arms - the ankle-brachial index (ABI) and toe-brachial index (TBI). Blood pressure in the ankle that's less than 90 percent of the arm measurement indicates PAD, while toe blood pressure less than 70 percent of the arm measurement also indicates PAD.During follow up, patients showed a significant deterioration in ABI and TBI, although some remained stable. Those suffering the steepest declines (the highest 10 percent), with at least a 0.30 decrease in ABI or 0.27 decrease in TBI, were considered to have major PAD progression. Researchers compared risk factors in these patients with those whose arteries did not narrow as significantly during follow up.Among those with LV-PAD, current smokers were 3.2 times more likely to have major progression. Those with a high ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) the good cholesterol were also more likely to have their PAD substantially progress.Heavy drinking (more than 21 alcoholic beverages per week) was also associated with worse LV-PAD, but was considered "borderline predictive" of PAD progression. Likewise, higher pulse pressure (the difference between the upper and lower numbers in a blood pressure reading, which indicates stiffening in major blood vessels) was a borderline predictor of progression.Researchers analyzed several novel cardiovascular risk factors and found that high levels of Lipoprotein a, or Lp(a) a lipid particle, and high levels of highly sensitive C-reactive protein, or hsCRP an inflammation marker, were also predictive of greater progression of LV-PAD. However, high levels of homocysteine, previously identified as a risk factor for PAD, did not predict progression.The only significant predictor of SV-PAD progression was diabetes."The most surprising result was the absence of an impact of diabetes in large vessel PAD progression," Aboyans said.The findings point to the importance of thinking about small and large-vessel PAD separately and looking for both when assessing blood flow in the legs."Some patients in this study had progressive artery blockage, but the only initial evidence was in the toe," said co-author Michael H. Criqui, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. "Particularly in patients with diabetes, doctors may need to measure both ABI and TBI."The results reinforce new American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines on the management of PAD, published in Circulation in March, 2006. The guidelines recommended anti-platelet therapy such as aspirin and cholesterol treatment with statins."If you have PAD and are taking low-dose aspirin and a statin, you're doing two things that are very helpful," Criqui said.
Leading media voice for the diabetes community shines spotlight on new faces fighting the diabetes epidemic; thousands of Americas 21 million people with diabetes name their heroes.WESTPORT, CT., May 31, 2006--What do one of Americas most famous and influential CEOs, a comic book written by two young boys, and a basketball superstar have in common?Answer: Diabetes and the admiration of more than 20,000 readers, listeners, and viewers of dLife, Americas leading multimedia information source for people living with diabetes. Basketball superstar Adam Morrison, business giant Lee Iacocca, and comic book authors Kamaal and Malcolm Washington were among The Annual dLife Top 10, Making a Difference in Diabetes. This marks the first year for these awards, which were based on the contributions these winners made to the diabetes community throughout 2005.dLifes editorial staff, which presents valuable information about diabetes through television, radio, web, and print, combined their diabetes knowledge to offer a list of nominees representing those in America who inspired, motivated and improved the lives of people with diabetes. Thousands voted online to whittle the nominee list down to the final award winners. The runaway winner at number 1 was college basketball superstar, Adam Morrison. Morrison, projected by many to be the number 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft, was the nations leading scorer during the 2005-2006 college basketball season, all the while publicly managing his diabetes by openly testing his blood sugars and injecting insulin courtside. Morrisons public acknowledgment of his chronic disease helped make it very clear that people with diabetes can take control of their condition and not only achieve success in life, but also achieve greatness.Some days the sugars are up and down and your body just doesnt feel right but its no excuse, says Morrison. You gotta just go out there and give it 110 percent, even though you dont feel well. Apparently this message has resonated as dramatically within the diabetes community as his athletic skills on the court have resonated within the sports community.Internationally famous business leader Lee Iacocca was also a hit with voters. Through JoinLeeNow, the fund-raising arm of The Iacocca Foundation, founded in honor of his wife Mary Iacocca whose death was due to complications of type1 diabetes, more than $9 million was raised to support promising research for a diabetes cure. Approaching diabetes from an entirely different direction, the two young sons of Alonzo Washington, creator/publisher of OMEGA MAN comics, followed heroically in their fathers footsteps. Kamaal (10) and Malcolm (8) were inspired to create a story about Omega Boy and Doctor Diabetes after Kamaal was diagnosed with the disease. Kamal and his brother wanted to do something to bring more awareness to the illness, says their dad, Alonzo Washington. They have been begging me for years to publish one of their characters. When they told me that they wanted to use Omega Boy to address diabetes, how could I say no? The 18-page comic has attracted interest from various media outlets as well as various diabetes organizations. Keeping the ball rolling, Kamaal plans to do a national tour to help children afflicted with the illness.The other winners are nurse/educator KC Arnold, who distributed diabetes supplies to Hurricane Katrina victims; the Children With Diabetes quilt, a project that tells the life stories of children with diabetes; Jay Leeuwenburg and Denny Dressman, authors of the book Yes I Can! Yes You Can!, a chronicle of Jays struggle to balance his diabetes with his 9-year professional football career, the Asian outreach program at The Joslin Diabetes Center, a model bilingual program, Maurice Madden, whose film The Debilitator educates the African-American community about diabetes, Bernard Siegel, whose work on behalf of the diabetes community promotes an open debate on stem cell research and Kendall Simmons of the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers for his work helping kids with diabetes.The range of winners provides some real insight into just how widely the diabetes epidemic impacts our society, says Howard Steinberg, the CEO and Founder of LifeMed Media, parent company of dLife, who lives with type 1 diabetes. And perhaps more importantly, the variety of winners demonstrates how people of all ages and backgrounds are learning to take control of diabetes and lead incredibly successful and satisfying lives.About LifeMed Media and dLifeLifeMed Media is the first multimedia healthcare communications company created to serve chronic disease populations. Its flagship venture, dLifeFor Your Diabetes Life!, is the first integrated media network targeting the estimated 21 million people living with diabetes and their caregivers, families, friends, and those at risk of developing diabetessome 80 million in all. dLife provides knowledge, insight, advice and inspiration to this group through dLifeTV, dLife.com, dLifeRadio, and dLifeConnect.For further information please contact Tom Karlya @ 203-221-3453 or email@example.com. You can also visit our website as www.dlife.com. Available graphics: dLife logo, Omego Boy comic book cover, Adam Morrison action shot.
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