Understanding the impact of key clinical risk factors (including blood pressure and cholesterol) on chronic conditions such as Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is essential in improving how these risk factors are monitored and managed.

A new research study developed by the Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease (QRCPVD) aims to improve health outcomes for people with PAD by understanding how these key clinical risk factors can be most effectively monitored. This study, called “The Holistic Peripheral Artery Disease Management Trial (OPTIMAL)” aims to inform the development of a program to effectively manage these key clinical risk factors.

If you have been diagnosed with PAD and are interested in participating in this research project, please talk to your health care professional and ask to be referred to the study team.

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Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is the blockage and narrowing of arteries in the legs, leading to a reduction in blood supply to the lower limbs. The common symptom of PAD is pain in the lower limbs during walking. This is called Intermittent Claudication, which reduces the ability to undertake physical activity and reduces health-related quality of life. Over time, this reduced walking ability and worsening of PAD leads to a downward cycle of chronic poor health, increased risk of amputations and high healthcare costs.

The prevalence of PAD is rising yet there are no effective treatments for this condition. Surgery is the most common way to restore arterial blood supply to the lower limbs. Surgery is not only expensive, but can increase the risk of serious complications. A recent study by our group showed that patients who had surgery for PAD had higher rates of needing more surgery and amputations than those that did not.

Improving the monitoring and control of relevant risk factors for PAD can improve quality of life, avoid functional decline, and prevent major events including amputation for Australians with peripheral artery disease.

Patients and service providers can participate with this study by contacting the QRCPVD and requesting a study pack.