OHSU Sponsors "Legs for Life" Event Thursday

09/20/00    Portland, Ore.

200 to Be Screened for Vascular Disease at Westmoreland's Union Manor.

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. About 200 people are pre-registered for the second annual event, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, 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 -- mostly elderly -- 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 OHSU 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. About 500 hospitals screened more than 73,000 people across the country and nearly a quarter of those were determined to be at moderate or high risk for PVD. Those people 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. 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.