More than 100 Attend Heart Health Seminar and Screenings

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PALM COAST, Fla., March 9, 2017 On March 2, more than 100 community members joined Florida Hospital Flagler for a physician-led cardiac seminar about heart health.

Florida Hospital Flagler interventional cardiologist Dr. Amit Nanavati addressed peripheral vascular disease (PVD), which is the diseases of blood vessels outside of the heart and brain.

In addition, the hospital performed free PVD screenings and offered a complimentary lunch.

PVD is primarily caused by the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries, which is called atherosclerosis. This can occur in any blood vessel, but it is more common in the legs than the arms, Nanavati said. Approximately 8.5 million people in the U.S. have PVD, and it equally affects both men and women.

Untreated PVD can be dangerous because it can lead to painful symptoms or loss of a leg. In addition, patients with PVD have an increased risk of coronary artery disease, stroke and heart attack.

The classic symptom of PVD is pain in the legs with exertion such as walking, which is relieved by resting. However, up to 40 percent of individuals with PVD have no leg pain at all, and many can mistake their symptoms for something else, he said. People often dismiss their leg pain as a normal sign of aging. They may think it's arthritis or general stiffness associated with getting older. Those with diabetes might confuse PVD pain with neuropathy, a common diabetic symptom that classically causes a burning or painful discomfort of the feet or thighs.

Physical signs that may indicate PVD include muscle atrophy, hair loss, and smooth, shiny skin. Other symptoms include skin that is cool to the touch, especially if accompanied by pain while walking, decreased or absent pulses in the feet, non-healing ulcers or sores in the legs or feet, and cold or numb toes.

To prevent or improve PVD symptoms, exercise is very important, Nanavati said. Also, it is important to control your high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. If you smoke, it is imperative to quit using tobacco, as it increases the risk of PVD and it worsens the symptoms.

About Florida Hospital Flagler

Florida Hospital Flagler is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based health care organization with 46 hospital campuses and nearly 8,200 licensed beds in 10 states. With 99-beds, Florida Hospital Flagler is one of the six Florida Hospitals in Volusia and Flagler counties that composes the Florida Hospital East Florida Region. As the largest hospital system in the area, the Florida Hospital East Florida Region has 923 beds and more than 6,000 employees. With a mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ, the Florida Hospital East Florida Region collectively contributed nearly $120 million in benefits in 2015 to the underprivileged, the community's overall health and wellness and spiritual needs, and capital improvements. For more information about Florida Hospital Flagler, visit

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