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Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Free Screenings for Vascular Disease at St. Joe's Ann Arbor
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Free Screening Offered for Deadly Vascular Diseases:
Leg Pain Can be Warning Sign; Women May be at Greater Risk

Free screenings for vascular diseases will be offered at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor on October 24, as it joins more than 400 health facilities across the nation in Legs For Life® – National Screening for Vascular Disease.

Vascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States. One of the common warning signs is leg pain caused by peripheral arterial, or vascular, disease (PAD or PVD), a sign of arteriosclerosis (clogged blood vessels) in the leg. Arteriosclerosis also is the primary cause of heart attack, the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, stroke (No. 3) and abdominal aortic aneurysm (No. 17).

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor will offer the free screenings for PAD, Venous Disease and stroke on Oct. 24 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Ellen Thompson Women’s Health Center, 5320 Elliott Drive in Ypsilanti.

PAD affects about 10 million people in the United States, but many people don’t know they have the disease. In its early stages, there may be no symptoms. Sometimes people experience pain in the leg while walking that eases when they are at rest. Other symptoms may include swelling or numbness in the leg, or skin discoloration. Some studies suggest that women may not experience symptoms as early as men, which may put them at greater risk for complications associated with later-stage vascular disease.

Those at highest risk include individuals age 50 and over who have a family history of cardiovascular disease and/or have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or are smokers, and people who are overweight and/or lead an inactive lifestyle.

The screening at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor includes completing as risk factor questionnaire and undergoing a simple, painless test for PAD called the Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) that compares the blood pressure in the arms and ankles.

In addition to the questionnaire and ABI test for PAD, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor will offer information about and screening for stroke and venous disease.

· Venous disease, disorders of the veins, – the blood vessels that return blood to the heart – includes conditions such as varicose veins; chronic venous insufficiency, a serious disorder caused by defective valves in the veins; and deep vein thrombosis (blood clots).

· Stroke is usually caused by a build up of arteriosclerosis plaque in the carotid arteries – the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the brain.

To make an appointment for Legs For Life screening call 800-231-2211.