A Duke University Medical Center study, funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) discovered that a tiny handful of genes appear to be important clues to understanding why some patients with Peripheral Artery Disease face high rates of amputation and early death while others are spared those consequences.

Dr. Anex, director of medicine at Duke, says the study stems directly from his clinical experience. “Over and over, I would see two patients show up at the same time. They would be the same sex, same age, have identical risk factors and similar blockages in their arteries. One of them would experience very slow progression of the disease, while the other would face limb loss or death within 6 months. I just knew there had to be a genetic basis for it. “

Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D) is caused by the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries that affect the flow of blood. Some of the most symptoms of these vascular conditions are leg pain while walking which stops at rest. Some other symptoms are: cooler temperature in one leg as compared to the other, thinning of skin and loss of hair on the legs. If these symptoms are left untreated they can lead to even more serious complications such as limb amputation or heart disease.

“Essentially, we now have a field of about 20 genes that we think may be involved in shaping the way Peripheral Artery Disease develops,” says Annex. He further shares: “At this point, we are not certain which genes are playing an active role, however we strongly feel that our discovery opens a new wave of investigation that may one day yield novel prevention strategies or treatments.”

If you are suffering from the symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D) call (888) 628 9389 to schedule a consultation with our vein and vascular specialists. Treatments at USA Vascular Centers are covered by most insurance plans and Medicare.