Life Line Screening: Facts About Preventing and Diagnosing Peripheral Vascular Disease


Cardiovascular disease is a prevalent problem throughout the United States. Well over 600,000 American adults die each year from various forms of cardiovascular disease, making it the leading cause of death for both men and women. Peripheral Vascular Disease refers to cardiovascular disease that occurs in the extremities or other locations besides the immediate area of the heart.

In recent years, much attention has been given to the possible benefits of preventative health screenings to help detect the existence of cardiovascular disease before it reaches dangerous stages. What is Life Line Screening? What are the proven benefits of preventative health screenings such as those offered by Life Line Screening? What types of medical issues can be screened for and how can an individual prepare themselves for these types of tests? The information below will answer these questions in more detail.

What is Life Line Screening?

Life Line Screening is a privately owned and operated series of medical facilities specializing in providing a variety of life-saving preventative screening tests for those concerned about their long-term health. Based in Austin, Texas, the company now has a series of locations throughout the United States so that they can serve a wider audience. To date, Life Line Screening has performed over eight million beneficial screening services for American adults looking to prevent serious repercussions from existing hidden medical issues. In 2007, Life Line Screening launched similar services in the United Kingdom and Australia in 2012. Life Line Screening continues to be at the forefront of bringing innovative technology that can accurately assess the current health of an individual to people all across the nation.

What is Peripheral Vascular Disease?

Cardiovascular disease is a broad term that covers many different illnesses affecting the heart, blood vessels, and other components of the cardiovascular system. Peripheral vascular disease is a lesser-known complication of overall heart disease. PVD refers to damage or disease of the blood vessels outside of the immediate area of the heart. Therefore, it could involve damaged or diseased blood vessels of the legs, arms, abdomen, and other areas.

In a similar vein to heart disease overall, the symptoms of PVD may not be present early on. Therefore, a person can have cardiovascular disease for many years without being aware that it is present. Even though the disease can be silent for years, this does not mean it isn’t doing a remarkable degree of damage to the body. When symptoms of PVD do exist, they can include the following:

  • Pain in the extremities, especially with physical exertion
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue of the legs

Who is at risk for the development of Peripheral Vascular Disease? Heart disease of all types can affect anyone at any age. However, there are some known risk factors that have been proven to increase an individual’s odds of developing PVD or other types of cardiovascular disease. These risk factors include the following:

  • Smoking

Smoking tobacco damages all types of soft tissue, including the heart and blood vessels.

  • Being Overly Sedentary

Failing to get an adequate amount of exercise can increase a person’s risk of getting heart disease.

  • Being Diabetic

The constant fluctuation of blood sugar levels and other issues that go along with diabetes can cause damage to the heart and delicate lining of the blood vessels.

  • Being Overweight or Obese

Overweight and obesity are exceptionally common problems in America. However, carrying extra weight has been proven to cause damage to the heart and blood vessels. Losing even a modest amount of weight can lower a person’s risk of developing these issues.

How Does Gender and Age Affect Risk of PVD?

Does PVD only affect older males? How does a person’s gender and age affect their risk level? Many people mistakenly think of cardiovascular disease as being a problem that affects older men. However, this is simply not the case. It is true that age and gender do affect risk to some degree, but it is equally important to realize that cardiovascular disease and PVD can happen to anyone.

That said, current research shows that women have a higher risk of developing PVD while their male counterparts of the same age have a higher risk of developing a narrowing of the carotid artery. Likewise, younger women are facing a much higher risk of developing PVD than ever before. Alternatively, for some conditions such as aortic aneurysms, the degree of risk seems similar across both genders and all age groups. However, you choose to look at these statistics, it is clear that the prevalence of heart disease and PVD is a huge problem that can remain undetected for a long time until much damage has already been done. How can we prevent needless suffering and lower the mortality rate associated with these issues?

Benefits of Preventative Health Screenings

The main problem with diagnosing cardiovascular disease has been the fact that it can remain well hidden for years or even decades. Without knowing the disease is present, it can be causing untold damage to the heart and blood vessels that can be difficult to reverse. Furthermore, symptoms do not need to be present for an emergency life-threatening event such as a heart attack, stroke, or an aneurysm to take place. For this reason, it is imperative that those concerned about their long-term health receive proper preventative screening tests to help detect silent problems such as this.

Life Line Screening provides preventative screening tests that can detect all types of cardiovascular issues. Their screening services can be divided up into the following types of tests:

  • Ultrasound Tests

Ultrasounds are painless and non-invasive ways to get an accurate image of what is going on inside the body. These tests can allow the person performing them to detect blockages of blood vessels or the presence of a possible aneurysm.

  • Finger Prick Blood Panels

Blood tests can be very useful in terms of detecting dangerous symptoms that can indicate the presence of a serious problem. Most people don’t like blood tests because they require the removal of a large amount of blood through a vein in the arm. Obtaining these blood samples can be quite uncomfortable. Life Line Screening specializes in unique ways of performing the same blood tests that require an extremely small amount of blood that is obtained through one simple stick of the finger.

  • EKG’s

EKG’s have been used for years to detect irregular heartbeats and other problems of the cardiovascular system. EKG’s are painless, non-invasive, and require no special preparation. Since irregular heartbeats can raise the risk of deadly strokes, EKG’s are a beneficial tool in the arsenal against heart disease.

Cardiovascular disease and PVD are exceptionally common problems throughout the United States. Detecting the presence of these issues early before damage is done to the heart and blood vessels is essential. Now through the development of innovative preventative health screenings like those offered by Life Line Screening, detecting these issues early is now possible.

Life Line Screenings EKG is limited to screen for atrial fibrillation only.

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