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Thursday, February 4, 2010
Michael R. Jaff, DO
Dr. Michael R. Jaff, medical director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Vascular Center, has been announced as chairman and moderator of the P.A.D. Task Force Committee on behalf of the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, The California Podiatric Medical Association and the California Department of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (CDPH). The committee met for the first time on February 4, 2010, in the California State Capitol.
The goal of the committee, comprised of 15 respected medical scholars, is to outline an approach that will support the early identification and treatment of peripheral artery disease (P.A.D.). The state of California aims to build awareness of this under diagnoses disease, thereby decreasing healthcare costs associated with treating P.A.D. and its co-morbidities. The Committee will generate a position paper centered on recommendations and guidelines for a statewide initiation of P.A.D. awareness and surveillance of at risk patients to be published in the next year.
Nearly 9 million Americans have P.A.D., which increases risk of heart attack, stroke and death. P.A.D. is caused when the arteries in the legs become narrow or clogged with fatty deposits called plaques, resulting in reduced blood flow to the legs and feet. The condition can cause foot or toe pain that may impair the ability to walk; however, P.A.D. is often asymptomatic, so people may not be aware of the problem and it associated risks.
"Once diagnosed, the risk of leg complications from P.A.D. is low because it is a very treatable condition. The problem is that many people are unaware they are living with this disease, and that it is associated with a serious increase in risk of heart attack, stroke, and premature death," said Jaff.
Jaff is a national and international leader in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular disease.His research focus includes novel therapies for P.A.D. as well as device and clinical trial development. He is a past president of the Society for Vascular Medicine.
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