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UPMC Offers Free Vascular Disease Screenings


PITTSBURGH , April 27, 2006 — The University of Pittsburgh Division of Vascular Surgery, in conjunction with the American Vascular Association’s National Screening Program, will offer free screenings for vascular disease from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday, May 13 at UPMC Shadyside Medical Building, Suite 307, 5200 Centre Ave.

Each screening will include:

A “quick” carotid ultrasound scan to detect the risk of stroke
An aortic ultrasound scan to detect aortic aneurysm
An ankle-brachial index (ABI) test to detect peripheral arterial disease

Aortic aneurysm is a swelling or a “bulge” of the aorta, the largest artery in the human body, which leads away from the heart. Aortic aneurysms occur when the wall of the aorta becomes weakened by build-ups of fatty deposits called plaque (cholesterol and scar tissue). An estimated 15,000 people die each year from abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) develops most commonly as a result of atherosclerosis, or “hardening of the arteries,” in which plaque forms inside the arteries and causes narrowing or blockage. These blockages lead to decreased blood flow to the legs, which can cause claudication (pain while walking), and can lead to gangrene and amputation. People with PAD are more likely to have blockages in other parts of the body as well, which leads to a greater risk of heart disease, aortic aneurysms and stroke. Symptoms of PAD can include numbness, coldness or tingling in the feet, and ulcers or sores on the feet or legs that won’t heal.

The screenings are free, but appointments are required. To register, call 412-623-3333.


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