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Interventional cardiologists, vascular surgeons and others in the U.S. now have a cornucopia of treatments for patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD), thanks to recent FDA approvals for drug-eluting stents and drug-coated balloons. But using these devices is no slam-dunk. Questions about patients and payments make some physicians hesitant to incorporate them into practice.
PAD has proliferated over the years in both wealthy and lower-income countries. Globally, the prevalence of PAD increased 25 percent between 2000 and 2010, with an estimated 202 million people living with the disease. In the U.S., more than 8.5 million adults in their fourth decade or beyond have PAD, and the disease claimed more than 62,000 lives in 2011.