John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is claudication?
- What are the causes of claudication?
- What are the symptoms of claudication?
- Why does claudication come and go?
- What can cause the artery narrowing that leads to claudication?
- Who typically is affected by claudication?
- What are the risk factors for claudication and peripheral vascular disease?
- How is claudication diagnosed?
- How is claudication treated?
- Can claudication be prevented?
- What is the prognosis and treatment for patients with intermittent claudication?
- Find a local Cardiologist in your town
Can claudication be prevented?
Some of the risk factors for claudication are behaviors that can be modified such as:
- quit smoking,
- managing diabetes and high blood pressure, and
- maintaining a healthy diet to keep cholesterol levels normal.
Medications that help thin the blood can be used to help prevent symptoms of claudication, but they do not treat the underlying cause. Medications include:
- clopidogrel (Plavix),
- ticlopidine (Ticlid), and
- dipyridamole (Permole, Persantine, Aggrenox).
Exercise is recommended for patients with claudication symptoms. Frequent exercise, especially walking, greatly reduces symptoms and increases symptom-free walking distance and is one of the most effective preventive measures.
What is the prognosis and treatment for patients with intermittent claudication?
The prognosis of claudication is generally favorable with treatment. Without treatment, 26% of patients worsen over time. Over 5 years, 4% to 8% will progress to require a revascularization procedure.
The underlying cause of claudication, peripheral vascular disease, does put patients at risk for other atherosclerotic diseases. A finding of claudication or peripheral artery disease should be considered a warning sign of other potential atherosclerotic blockages in the body.
Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American board of Surgery
Carman, T. L. and B. B. Fernandez. "A Primary Care Approach to the Patient with Claudication." American Family Physician. 15 Feb. 2000.
Mohler, E. R., et al. "Medical management of claudication." UpToDate. 4 June 2012.
Neschis, D. G., et al. "Clinical features and diagnosis of lower extremity peripheral artery disease." UpToDate. 12 Dec. 2013.
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