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Keeping Feet Healthy

by Tara Dairman

Developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in partnership with the PAD Coalition, this national awareness campaign aims to educate the public and health-care providers about PAD and related cardiovascular diseases. The Web site includes educational materials in English and Spanish; click on “About P.A.D.” for information about the condition, symptoms, diagnosis, and how to lower your risk.

You can also contact the NHLBI to order a fact sheet about PAD by calling (301) 592-8573. The fact sheet costs $1.25 plus shipping and handling. Alternatively, it can be viewed online at www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/pad/pad_what.html.

A partner organization in the PAD Coalition, the Vascular Disease Foundation (VDF) has its own Web site with extensive information about many vascular diseases, including PAD. You can visit their Web page to find information on what PAD is, symptoms of PAD, risk factors, tests used to diagnose the condition, treatment methods, and more. You can also receive information, including VDF’s free newsletter Keeping in Circulation, by calling (866) PAD-INFO (723-4636). Past newsletters can be downloaded and viewed as PDF documents at www.vdf.org/Resources/newsletters.php.

Finding doctors and screenings
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes have a comprehensive foot exam once a year. It suggests that people who smoke or have had foot or leg complications see a specialist (such as a podiatrist), and that all people with diabetes over the age of 50 be screened for PAD. These resources can help you find a podiatrist and a PAD screening site.

If you click on “Find a Podiatrist” on APMA’s homepage, you will be taken to an online feature that allows you to search for a specialist by name or location. Listed results provide contact information for doctors and tell you where they completed their podiatric education.

Legs for Life is a community health and public information program that was founded in 1997 by the Society of Interventional Radiology. It runs a national free screening program for people who may be at risk for PAD. Free screenings are offered at hundreds of sites across the United States every September during National Screening Month for PAD Leg Pain.

From the Legs for Life homepage, click on “Find One” on the drop-down menu under “Screening Sites” to look for a free screening site near you. Many sites are added in August in anticipation of National Screening Month. There is also a link to help people find screening sites year-round, though they may not be free.

The Legs for Life Web site also features “self-tests,” or questionnaires to help you evaluate your risk for PAD and other vascular conditions. Some pages on the Web site are also available in Spanish.

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Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.



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