AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Peripheral Artery Disease restricts blood flow to the legs and can make walking painful. It can even lead to amputation.

Negative social determinants of health, like poverty and racism, both disproportionately affect older Black adults.

The Centers for Disease Control says those factors, along with food and housing insecurity, have been found to directly increase the burden of other blood vessel diseases like heart disease and stroke and their risk factors. This ties in to P.A.D.

Dr. Monique Bethel is a cardiologist at the Medical College of Georgia and AU Health. She’s involved in research right now to identify social determinants that may be a factor in the nearly doubled rates of P.A.D. in Blacks, compared with other groups, especially here in the Southeast.

AUMC is currently screening patients who come to the general cardiology clinic or peripheral vascular disease clinic, as well as inpatients admitted to the cardiology service. They are looking for individuals that meet similar criteria to the American College of Cardiology guidelines, which includes those 65 and older, those 50-64 who are smokers or have diabetes, and those under age 50 who are smokers and have diabetes

If you would like to participate in the study, please call the MCG Division of Cardiology at 706-721-4997.