OHSU Holds Legs for Life Screening Event

09/01/00    Portland, Ore.

Westmoreland's Union Manor Site for Vascular Disease Screening.

As part of the fight against peripheral vascular disease, the Dotter Interventional Institute and the Division of Vascular Surgery at the Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine are again co-sponsoring the Legs for Life screening event. This second annual event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 21 at Westmoreland's Union Manor, 6404 S.E. 23rd Ave., in southeast Portland.

Peripheral vascular disease, or PVD as it's commonly called, is a blockage of the arteries supplying blood to the legs that can cause pain, numbness and difficulty walking. Many of the 10 million Americans affected by PVD mistake the symptoms for signs of aging. "The most common symptom of PVD is leg pain while a person is walking or exercising that stops when the person is at rest," said Robert Barton, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Interventional Radiology. "The important thing is it can be treated."

Legs for Life began last year as a nationwide public awareness campaign about PVD. More than 500 hospitals that participated in last year's event screened more than 73,000 people across the country for PVD. Nearly a quarter of those were determined to be at moderate or high risk for the disease and were advised to seek further evaluation from their personal physician.

"PVD is an underappreciated cause of disability," said Gregory Moneta, M.D., chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery. "Fortunately, the early stages of the disease may be treated with simple changes in lifestyle and medications that can halt progression to the more advanced stages where surgery may be required."

The screenings on Sept. 21 are free to the public. Each person who participates will receive his or her own personal screening chart to take to a physician if they are determined to be at risk for PVD. Those who would like to participate in the screening are asked to register by calling 503 494-7660.