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Collins TC, Beyth RJ. Process of care and outcomes in peripheral arterial disease. The American journal of the medical sciences. 2003 Mar 1; 325(3):125-34.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a prevalent illness that most commonly affects patients older than 60 years. As the population ages, the prevalence of PAD and its associated adverse outcomes will also increase. Adverse outcomes in PAD are either systemic (ie, cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarctions or strokes) or localized to the legs (ie, bypass surgery or amputation). Although much research has focused on adverse systemic outcomes in patients with PAD, less is known about those factors related to adverse limb events. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 100,000 amputations are performed in the United States each year. What remains to be determined is the association between how physicians manage patients with PAD (ie, process of care) and the development of adverse limb outcomes. Determining the association of the management of PAD with adverse limb outcomes will highlight those areas in which to focus to improve the quality of care for patients with this disease. Understanding the relationship between risk factors, process of care, and outcomes will be of importance to patients, clinicians, and policy makers. The purpose of this article is to review the burden of PAD and to discuss the association of process of care with adverse limb outcomes in patients with PAD.