Further Reading

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

Although AAA can be detected by physical examinations, most are diagnosed today using an ULTRASOUND scan or CAT scan. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms are caused by progressive weakening of the aortic wall creating a “ballooning” of the vessel. The aneurysm will grow larger and eventually rupture if it is not diagnosed and treated. In most cases there are no major symptoms for AAA. Seventy-five percent of aneurysms that are discovered are detected from diagnostic tests that were given for other health problems.

Some risk factors include

Family history of AAA, tobacco use, history of heart disease or peripheral arterial disease, and high blood pressure (hypertension) are the leading risk factors for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms.


A stroke, or “brain attack”, occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a blood clot or when a blood vessel bursts. This typically occurs when a blood vessel in or around the brain gets blocked ruptures. The lack of oxygen kills brain cells in the immediate area, often causing symptoms such as weakness or numbness on one side of the body, trouble walking or talking, and visual changes. Having an ultrasound today can detect early warning signs which could potentially save you from having a stroke.


Some risk factors include


High blood pressure is one of the key risk factors for stroke because it puts stress on the blood vessel walls. Some other risk factors include age, tobacco use, diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, heart disease, family history of heart disease or stroke, a TIA (mini stroke), high cholesterol, and atrial fibrillation. African-Americans and Hispanics appear to have higher stroke risk than Caucasians. Cocaine and heavy alcohol use also increase the risk of having a stroke.


Some symptoms of a stroke include sudden numbness of the face, arm, or leg, sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech, sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, sudden trouble walking dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, and sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is also known as atherosclerosis, poor circulation, or hardening of the arteries. PAD progresses over time at variable rates in each individual depending on the area of circulation effected and one’s health and family history. The signs and symptoms of PAD may not arise until later in life. For many, the outward indications will not appear until the artery has narrowed by 60 percent or more.

One of the first things that you may notice if you have this disease is a painful cramping of the leg muscles during walking called intermittent claudication. When a person rests, the cramping goes away. This leg pain can be severe enough to deter a person from normal walking. Some individuals will not feel cramping or pain me.

Some risk factors include

Some risk factors for PAD include age, tobacco use, diabetes, history of heart disease, hypertension, and high levels id homocysteine.


Some symptoms of PAD include cooling of the skin in specific areas of legs and feet, color changes in the skin and loss of hair, and toe and foot sores that do not heal.