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Thank you for subscribing to Heart Health, an Avera eNewsletter that provides you with useful information about cardiac care and prevention. We believe a healthy lifestyle starts with a strong heart. To learn more about our services and community events, or to find a physician, visit www.Avera.org.

To your health,

The Avera Staff


Avera offers you screenings that detect the amount of buildup in your arteries, which can indicate your potential for stroke, heart disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Your vascular system is the entire blood delivery system within your body including your heart, arteries and veins. Three vascular screenings exist for different parts of the body: the carotid artery, abdominal aorta and peripheral arteries. The carotid-artery screening measures the blood supply from the neck to the brain, the abdominal-aorta screening measures the blood vessel that supplies blood to the whole body and the peripheral-artery screening measures blood flow to the legs. The tests use painless ultrasound technology and pressure monitoring.

Screenings may vary by location. To make an appointment for a vascular screening, call the the location nearest you:

Aberdeen, (605) 622-5556
Marshall, (507) 537-9189
Mitchell, (605) 995-2473
Sioux Falls, 1 (877) AT-AVERA (1-877-282-8372)
Yankton, (605) 668-8150

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Did you know peripheral-artery disease is much more common than cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig's disease? While peripheral-artery disease is quite prevalent in Americans, the majority of people don't know much about the disease or its symptoms. Know your risk factors for the disease and get screened.

"Peripheral-artery disease is difficult to diagnose is some circumstances," says Dr. J. Michael Bacharach of the North Central Heart Institute in Sioux Falls, S.D. "The majority of people with the disease are asymptomatic."

Peripheral-artery disease causes the veins and arteries to narrow and harden, affecting blood flow to the legs and feet. It's closely linked to coronary disease. Symptoms may include leg pain and aches, fatigue in leg muscles and a burning sensation in the legs.

Dr. Bacharach says risk factors include smoking, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. "The prevalence of the disease also increases with age," he says. Because the majority of people with the disease have no symptoms, doctors recommend that people over age 50 have vascular screenings.

Some medications may ease the disease's symptoms, and your doctor can recommend lifestyle changes or surgery that may lessen pain and the long-term effects of the disease.

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