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Epidemiology of vascular disease 

Epidemiology of vascular disease
Epidemiology of vascular disease

Dr Jonathan P. Thompson

, Dr Simon J. Howell

, and Dr Richard J. Telford

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date: 22 October 2019

Vascular disease is widespread and has a significant impact of quality on life and life expectancy. Supposedly minor vascular disease can be a cause of distress and debility. Varicose veins are perceived as a cosmetic problem. In fact they are common, may cause considerable discomfort and in cases of venous ulceration, considerable disability. The effects of occlusive and embolic arterial disease such as limb loss and stroke can impose a huge burden on the sufferer and wider society. Aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection frequently present difficult challenges for medical disciplines including anaesthesia, surgery, radiology and critical care. Patients suffering from aortic disease may face fraught discussions and decisions with their medical advisors. Much elective vascular surgery is managed by vascular specialists. However many vascular conditions, such as limb ischaemia and ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm present acutely and are part of the acute practice of many anaesthetists. The management of vascular disease extends beyond the operating theatre. Much can be done to mitigate the effects of cardiovascular disease with appropriate primary and secondary prevention. Such prevention should form part of preoperative assessment and postoperative care. Vascular interventions such as abdominal aortic aneurysm repair are high risk procedures. With the advent of screening patients who consider that they are fit and well may be subjected to such interventions. Outcome from vascular surgery and radiology is increasingly monitored in high quality clinical databases linked to national quality improvement programs.

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