Phylicia Rashad in Chicago

September 17, 2008 5:13:28 AM PDT
Phylicia Rashad is in Chicago to share her personal experience with P.A.D. and the toll it has taken on her family. Peripheral Artery Disease or P.A.D. - a condition that affects 8 million Americans - may be the most common disease your viewers have never heard of, but it more than doubles the risk of having a heart attack or stroke and more than quadruples the risk of dying from heart disease. During P.A.D Awareness Month in September, Ms. Rashad is in Chicago because it's one of the top "P.A.D. Hot Spots" in the country.

Chicago ranks 12th in the first geographic ranking of P.A.D. prevalence across the United States according to new research just released from the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF).

Eight of Ms. Rashad's family members, including her father and grandparents, died of a heart attack or stroke, and each of those family members had lived with some of the common risk factors for P.A.D., such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and a family history of heart attack or stroke. P.A.D., or poor circulation in the arteries of the legs, may also be a warning sign of a similar problem in the arteries leading to the heart or brain, so Ms. Rashad would like to help people better understand these connections and urge them to see their doctor to get tested if they think they may have risk factors.

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