August 02, 2007

SENATE PASSES PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE RECOGNITION

Crapo-Dorgan resolution creates awareness month designation

Washington, DC - A resolution sponsored by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo to recognize September 2007 as National Peripheral Arterial Disease Awareness Month has been approved by the U.S. Senate. Crapo was joined by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) on the bill to raise awareness of the health problems caused by narrowing of the arteries. Heart attacks, stroke, and other accelerated health problems can occur if peripheral arterial disease (P.A.D.) is left unchecked.

"The survival rate for individuals with undetected peripheral arterial disease is worse than the outcome for many other serious diseases, including many common cancers," noted Crapo, who is Co-Chair of the Congressional Heart Attack and Stroke Coalition. "Less than half of individuals with peripheral arterial disease are aware of their diagnoses."

Crapo and Dorgan say better educational efforts can increase awareness about the disease, which estimates say afflicts between eight and 12 million Americans, many of them African-Americans.
Their measure encourages organizations and individuals to observe National Peripheral Arterial Disease Awareness Month with appropriate programs and activities.

"The P.A.D. Coalition and its 53 member organizations are most appreciative of the leadership of Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Byron Dorgan (D- ND) and the entire United States Senate for their support of a resolution to declare the month of September as National Peripheral Arterial Disease Awareness Month," said Alan T. Hirsch, M.D., Chair of the P.A.D. Coalition and Professor of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. "This historic bi-partisan resolution will provide a national platform to educate Americans about this devastating disease that greatly impacts quality of life and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, amputation and death. Together, we can work to reduce the large amount of unnecessary suffering and improve the vascular health and well-being of all Americans."