August 31, 2007 - Baby boomers need to understand how to maintain a healthy vascular system as they become seniors. By 2015, the U.S. Census reports an expected 87 million people aged 55 and older, up from 67 million in 2005. Since vascular disease primarily affects seniors; the number of cases of vascular disease are expected to rise dramatically.
“When blood flow is restricted, vascular diseases like carotid artery disease can lead to stroke; peripheral arterial disease can lead to problems walking and in the most advanced cases, foot ulcers, gangrene and possible amputation; and abdominal aortic aneurysm can result in death from rupture if not treated early. SVS members are vascular surgeons who want people approaching senior status to know to take care of their vascular health,” said Dr. K. Wayne Johnston, president, Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS).
Dr. Johnston says these are five of the most important things people can do to take care of their vascular health:
1. Stop smoking
2. Eat a healthy, low fat diet
3. Maintain good cholesterol levels
4. Take care of their blood pressure to keep it in a normal range
5. Exercise regularly - even a moderate walking program can be effective
"These practices are not new, but with so many people reaching senior status, it is important to remind them about the positive impact they can have on their vascular health. Maintaining good vascular health is a matter of life and limb," said Dr. Johnston.
People aged 55 and older should talk with their primary care physician about their vascular health. Painless, noninvasive tests can determine if there are blockages in a patient's neck or leg arteries or if there is aneurysm formation in the aorta. If there is an indication of a blockage, patients should seek treatment. Vascular disease can be controlled if diagnosed and treated early. Vascular surgeons are the experts who treat these diseases with lifestyle changes, medical management, minimally invasive endovascular angioplasty and stent procedures, and open bypass surgery.
Source: The Society for Vascular Surgery
For more information: www.VascularWeb.org