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Peripheral Arterial Disease, Diabetes, Oral Hypoglycemic Agents
Worldwide, in 2010, 202 million people were living with PAD, with a prevalence between 3-12 percent. The prevalence of PAD is three times greater in diabetic patients compared to those with normal glycaemia. PAD of the limbs is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, as well as major adverse limb events including acute limb ischemia and amputation. These risks are particularly high in patients who smoke and/or have type 2 diabetes. The goal of treatment in diabetic patients with PAD is to prevent cardiovascular events and prevent further peripheral artery stenosis leading to limb ischemia, and amputation. Poor glycemic control contributes to atherosclerotic progression; however, no randomized control trial evidence exists that demonstrates improved glycemic control reduces the risk of PAD. Oral diabetic medications are designed to lower glucose levels, reduce symptoms and the microvascular complications of diabetes without the inconvenience of daily injections. However, the data supporting benefit of these medications in diabetic populations with concurrent PAD are limited. We review the evidence for oral hypoglycemic agents in the treatment of patients with concurrent PAD and diabetes.
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