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Essam El-Kady, chief of Vascular Surgery at the El Maadi Armed Forces Hospital in Cairo, Egypt operating with Dr. Brantigan. Click to enlarge.

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Baby Boomers and Vascular Health
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Baby Boomers and Vascular Health

Five Most Important Things Baby Boomers can do to
Maintain Good Vascular Health
Your vascular health is a matter of life and limb.

Baby boomers need to understand how to maintain a healthy vascular system as they age. As they approach retirement, the number of vascular disease cases is expected to rise dramatically unless life styles change.

The vascular system is made up of arteries and veins that carry oxygen-rich blood throughout the body to vital organs, the brain, and legs. As we age, our arteries tend to thicken with a build-up of plaque and cholesterol, get stiffer, and narrow. When blood flow is restricted problems occur. Carotid artery obstruction produces debilitating stroke. Peripheral arterial disease leads to problems walking and in the more advanced cases, to gangrene and amputation. Abdominal aortic aneurysm can result in death if not treated early.

These five practices recommended by the vascular societies, are not new. It is important to remember the positive impact these simple measures can have on vascular health:

1. Stop smoking
2. Eat a healthy, low fat diet
3. Maintain good cholesterol levels
4. Control blood pressure to keep it in a normal range
5. Exercise regularly – even a moderate walking program can be effective

People aged 55 and older should talk with their primary care physician about their vascular health. Painless, noninvasive tests can determine if there are blockages in a patient’s neck or leg arteries or if there is aneurysm formation in the aorta. If there is an indication of a blockage, patients should seek treatment immediately. Vascular disease can be controlled if diagnosed and treated early. Vascular surgeons treat these diseases with lifestyle changes, medical management, minimally invasive endovascular angioplasty and stent procedures, and open bypass surgery.

To learn more about your vascular health and vascular diseases, call our office or visit www.VascularWeb.org, or call 877-282-2010 for free brochures.

This article was modified from information provided by the Society for Vascular Surgery August 2007

© 2003-2004 Dr. Charles Brantigan,  Vascular Surgery Practice
2253 Downing Street, Denver, CO 80205
303.830.8822 fax: 303.830.7068 or 800.992.4676  inquiries@drbrantigan.com

Last Updated: 09/25/2007