New PAD Guideline Emphasizes Medical Therapy, Exercise

Joint guidelines for the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD), which include recommendations on the use of antiplatelet therapy to reduce the risk of blood clots and statin drugs to lower cholesterol and advise PAD patients to participate in a structured exercise program, were published Nov. 13 by the ACC and the American Heart Association and simultaneously published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The new recommendations replace guidelines last updated in 2011 and provides comprehensive recommendations across the spectrum of PAD. It emphasizes that the signs and symptoms of PAD include not only claudication, but other atypical leg symptoms or walking impairments, ischemic rest pain, or physical examination findings such as abnormal lower extremity pulses, vascular bruit, non-healing wounds or gangrene. "Periodically reassessing how we manage and treat complex diseases by incorporating the latest evidence is critical to ensure that clinicians are equipped to provide optimal care for their patients," said Marie Gerhard-Herman, MD, FACC, chair of the writing group. Read more on