September is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness Month; THE SAGE GROUP Highlights PAD Costs and Consequences

BEAUFORT S.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to THE SAGE GROUP LLC, PAD is one of the most widespread
chronic diseases. Currently afflicting almost 20 million U.S. citizens,
PAD prevalence is exceeded only by diabetes and venous disease. Costing
an estimated $212 to $389 billion, PAD direct disease costs exceed those
of diabetes and coronary disease, as well as all cancers combined.

Elaborating on the reasons for high costs, Mary L. Yost, President of
THE SAGE GROUP explained, “The majority of costs are inpatient (62%-87%)
with PAD-specific treatments only one factor driving up spending.
Cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, and related
treatments account for over 40% costs, adding significantly to total
costs.”

“Despite the magnitude of the national bill, PAD remains underestimated,
underdiagnosed, undertreated and under-researched,” stated Yost. “This
highly prevalent, costly and deadly disease continues to be largely
ignored resulting in unnecessary mortality, morbidity and amputations.
Ignorance, underdiagnosis and undertreatment increases disease costs.”

“As U.S. healthcare spending consumes an increasing share of economic
output, it is important to keep in mind that early diagnosis is a key
factor in reducing the costs of chronic diseases, such as PAD,” Ms. Yost
observed.

PAD can be diagnosed by a simple, noninvasive test. This inexpensive
test, known as the ankle-brachial index (ABI), is a cost-effective
method to detect disease in asymptomatic patients. Although Medicare
currently offers testing for patients with symptoms, PAD is most
commonly asymptomatic. According to THE SAGE GROUP, approximately 75% is
asymptomatic.

“Asymptomatic does not mean the disease is benign. PAD is not just a leg
problem; it is also a heart and a brain problem,” declared Ms. Yost.
“Asymptomatic patients are hospitalized at similar rates and cost as
much as symptomatic patients, not because of leg treatments but due to
heart attacks and strokes.”

If diagnosed in the early stages, PAD patients can be treated with
appropriate lifestyle modifications and drug therapies to reduce the
risks of heart attack and stroke; exercise therapy to reduce the pain of
claudication; or if blockages are more severe, with minimally invasive
revascularization technologies.

“However, if the disease is not diagnosed until critical limb ischemia
(CLI) occurs, interventional therapy is more costly. If gangrene is so
severe that the limb cannot be salvaged, the patient must undergo
amputation, the most costly procedure,” Yost elaborated.

“Amputation is not only extremely undesirable from the patient’s
viewpoint, it is socially undesirable in terms of costs. According to
our estimates, CLI amputations cost $25 billion,” she continued.

THE SAGE GROUP, a research and consulting company, specializes in
atherosclerotic and venous disease in the lower limbs, specifically PAD,
CLI, intermittent claudication (IC) and ischemic diabetic foot ulcers
(DFU). The most recent research focuses on quantifying the economic and
social costs of PAD, CLI and amputation. For additional information
visit www.thesagegroup.us.

Contacts

THE SAGE GROUP, Beaufort, SC
Harrington Witherspoon, 404-816-0746
witherspoon@thesagegroup.us

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