Artery Disease Has Big Impact in Native American Communities


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — In health news, Vascular professionals say a recent study shows that Native Americans can be up to 2-times more likely to suffer from Peripheral Artery disease than the general population.

P-A-D is a narrowing of the arteries usually in the legs that restricts blood flow.  It can cause serious mobility and pain issues for those who have it. In some cases, it can end with a foot or a leg being amputated.

But experts say there are new procedures available to those with PAD that can, if performed early enough, open up those arteries and prevent the loss of a limb.

“With the Native American population this is a huge problem. Its also a spiritual issue in so far as losing a limb is a spiritual thing too. We can reestablish the blood flow by opening those arteries. Its like they have a new life.” Said Dr. Steven Berkowitz, Chief Medical Officer for Modern Vascular.

Officials say the key is early diagnosis. If you suffer from diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity or if you are a smoker, you are at higher risk for P-A-D.

Leg pain during simple activity is an early sign of the disease. Berkowitz says there are very easy non-invasive tests available to see if the blood flow is adequate. Contact your doctor to schedule a screening

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