Peripheral Artery Disease screening available in southeast Missouri

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 4:29 PM CDT
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NEW MADRID, Mo. (KFVS) - All it takes is a simple screening to tell if you suffer from Peripheral Artery Disease.

“Peripheral artery disease is a narrowing or obstruction in the extremities in the legs or arms,” said Sierra Holiman, Southeast Health nurse practitioner.

Holiman said it’s a disease that affects 1 in 20 Americans over the age of 50.

What are the risk factors of this disease?

“Risk factors for developing PAD include obesity, smoking, hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol,” said Holiman.

And in southeast Missouri, Southeast Health Cardiovascular Outreach Director Debbi Leoni said the number of smokers in the area is high.

So Leoni travels southeast Missouri to screen anyone with the symptoms.

“They symptoms of PAD include coldness of extremities, maybe loss of hair, pain with exercise and activity. You may find with rest symptoms go away. This is classic PAD symptoms,” said Holiman.

Lenoi said there are specific things they are looking for.

“To see if there is any kind of collusion between the upper body and the lower body which could signify problems with heart disease and other things because you don’t just get arterial issues in your legs, if it’s here it’s probably also here,” said Leoni.

She said this test is more beneficial than you may think.

“So it’s kind of an early discovery and a way to check peoples’ risk factors early on, so if we find a problem now we can deal with those things so it doesn’t develop into something more significant,” she said.

Sidney Williams is one of Leoni’s patients.

“After having COVID in March of 2020, we’ve just been having some issues. Like coolness in my leg, pain sometimes, so it was just a test to rule out and make sure everything was normal,” said Williams.

For Williams, this test gave her reassurance.

“After having the test today and everything came back normal, it just makes me feel a little better that everything’s okay,” she said.

Lenoi said if you think you may have PAD, don’t wait to get screened.

“If we can catch them early and understand there really is something to follow up on, they are going up for a purpose and not just a screening,” said Leoni.

For more information you can visit the Southeast Health website. You can find screening dates on the Southeast Health calendar.

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