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Legs for Life: Free Screenings

The Section of Interventional Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, in conjunction with the National Society of Interventional Radiology, is sponsoring Legs for Life, a public education and community wellness program to help identify people who may be at risk for PVD--peripheral vascular disease.

On September 27, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. in Houston Hall's Bodek Lounge, interventional radiologists and other Penn specialists will be available to explain and discuss both peripheral vascular disease and abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Appointments are necessary; call (215) 615-3591/3541, or (215) 662-3110 (Spanish speaking).

PVD is caused by blocked blood flow in the arteries of the legs and often causes pain or swelling, difficulty walking, numbness and skin discoloration. It affects 10 million Americans, typically over age 50. People suffering from diabetes, smokers, and people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels are at increased risk of PVD. Early detection is key: PVD can typically be treated through lifestyle changes or medications in the earliest stages. In its most advanced stages, PVD causes a "heart attack in the legs"--arteries become so clogged and narrow that blood rich with oxygen and nutrients is prevented from flowing to the limbs.

Many individuals at risk of PVD are also at risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), the 13th leading cause of death in the U.S. AAA is caused by a weakened area in the main vessel that supplies blood from the heart to the rest of the body. When blood flows through the aorta, the weakened area bulges like a balloon. If the balloon grows large enough, there is a danger that it will burst. Those at highest risk for AAA are males over 60 who have ever smoked and/or who have a history of hardening of the arteries. Also at risk are males and females with a family history of AAA.

--Jeffrey Solomon, Interventional Radiology

Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 4, September 17, 2002


September 17, 2002
Volume 49 Number 4

The School of Veterinary Medicine invites the Penn community to celebrate 50 Years of Excellence with an Open House on September 21.
U.S. News & World Report ranks Penn #4 in it's annual Best national Universities survey.
The Penn Humanities Forum dedicates the 2002-2003 lectures, seminars, and exhibitions to the topic of The Book.
New Bioterrorism Legislation affects laboratories and clinical facilities.
Speaking Out about the conservation postcards.
Honors for faculty and staff
The 14th annual Career Conference for graduate students starts on September 17.
The 10th annual Penn Family Day is scheduled for October 5.
Research Roundup: Nurse Shortage; Alternate Tobacco Use; Immune Cells Fight Cancer; Head Start.
The Annual Crime Report from the Division of Public Safety.