Metro Vascular Centers: PAD Linked To Secondary Heart Attacks


An interesting new research study shows a significant correlation between peripheral artery disease (PAD) and a special type of heart attack called a secondary heart attack, also known as a type 2 heart attack. The research results were published in JAMA Cardiology, a journal of the American Medical Association. The study was conducted by Dr. Christoph Olivier, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Stanford Center for Clinical Research, and Dr. Kenneth Mahaffey, a professor at the same center. The research will be of particular interest to patients of Metro Vascular Centers.

The data that was analyzed for this study was taken from a previous drug efficacy study comparing the effectiveness of ticagrelor and clopidogrel, two drugs used to treat peripheral artery disease. In the new study, the researchers were not attempting to ascertain any information about these drugs. Instead, they wanted to study the relationship between peripheral artery disease and the occurrence of heart attacks. They picked this particular data set because all 14,000 people who had participated in the previous study had peripheral artery disease and their health was tracked for thirty months after the original study.

Of the 14,000 people in the original study, about five percent of them experienced heart attacks over the next thirty months. This was about the rate the researchers from Stanford had expected to find based on statistics from other sources. However, what they found most revealing was the TYPE of heart attacks these patients with peripheral artery disease were having. About one-third of the heart attacks were secondary hearts and this was a much larger percent than expected!

In a general population of people, only about ten percent of heart attacks are expected to be of the secondary type (type 2 instead of type 1). Given the large sample size and the follow through for thirty months, this new study provides good evidence that patients with peripheral artery disease are at a much higher risk, more than three times the risk, for having a secondary heart attack. Secondary heart attacks, not caused by a blockage but rather a lack of oxygen, are more difficult to treat and this study shows that those with peripheral artery disease may need to be monitored more closely for this type of heart attack and provided with additional education.

If you suspect you or a loved one may have peripheral artery disease, it’s important to get checked out right away. If you schedule an appointment with Metro Vascular Centers in Michigan or New York, you can receive a thorough evaluation of your condition. The doctors at Metro Vascular Centers are some of the best diagnosticians in the field and they can determine if you have PAD or another disease with similar symptoms. They can also recommend treatment for you and possibly give you more than one option depending.

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