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Peripheral artery care inadequate

Patients with peripheral arterial disease are being inadequately treated because of a lack of awareness of the condition, researchers warn.

A new study of 473 patients found many were missing out on appropriate medication and smoking cessation advice, while control of blood pressure and cholesterol was poor.

Among patients referred to 23 vascular clinics in the UK, 42 per cent had a systolic blood pressure over 160mmHg and 30 per cent had a cholesterol level over 6mmol/l.

Study leader Professor Gerard Stansby, professor of vascular surgery at Newcastle University, said: 'The figures suggest you're only half as likely to be on the right treatment [if you have peripheral arterial disease] as if you have coronary disease.'

Professor Stansby said there should be improved education of GPs and that the inclusion of the disease in the quality and outcomes framework should be on the agenda.

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