What your patient might ask you…

I saw on the news you can tell if I have peripheral artery disease.  Is that true?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition where there is narrowing of larger blood vessels in the legs.  It is estimated to affect approximately 8.5 million Americans above the age of 40.  A study out of Johns Hopkins examined more than 9000 patients over a 19 year period.  After adjusting for PAD risk factors such as diabetes, the researchers found that people with retinal abnormalities had more than double the odds of developing PAD and nearly 3.5 times the odds of developing the more severe form of PAD.

What are the “retinal abnormalities”?
Hemorrhages, exudates and microaneurysms.

The researchers state, “hopefully one day, a look at the eye will hold clues to the future of the legs — which will be an alert to the heart outcome and a signal to start effective prevention and treatment”.
(via CBS News)