Study Finds Angioplasty May be Riskier for PAD patients

Study Finds Angioplasty May be Riskier for PAD patientsThose who have been diagnosed with peripheral artery disease (PAD) have a higher risk for short- and long-term death following a procedure performed to unclog heart arteries, a new study suggests.

According to the National Library of Medicine, PAD occurs when the blood vessels outside the heart narrow, typically caused by atherosclerosis. The narrowing happens when fat and cholesterol, or plaque, builds up on the walls of the arteries that deliver blood to the arms and legs. PAD patients are prone to a number of other conditions, including heart attack, stroke and transient ischemic attack.

PAD often results in leg cramps, sores that don't heal properly, stomach pain and high blood pressure.

HealthDay reports the study was performed by researchers who analyzed data from nearly 2,500 heart disease patients who received percutaneous coronary intervention, a surgery that includes both angioplasty and stenting, to unclog heart arteries. Of the patients in the study, 7 percent had PAD.

Researchers found that the death rate while patients were recovering in the hospital was much higher for those who had been diagnosed with PAD than patients without the disease. The death rate among those with the disease was 1.7 percent, compared to 0.1 percent for those without PAD.

After an average of 4.4 years, PAD patients showed a much higher death rate than those without the disease – 23.8 percent compared with 10.8 percent.

The results highlight the importance of understanding all medical conditions before surgery is performed, and ensuring that healthcare providers work to improve the long-term outcomes of patients who are later found out to be high-risk. The findings will be presented during a meeting of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions in Las Vegas.

Those who may have undergone the procedure without the proper screening may want to contact a medical malpractice attorney.