Background: Implementation and adaptation of a vascular screening program in a rural community. Methods and Results: A vascular screening program was offered free to the general population aged 55 years and older. It comprised of ultrasound screening of the carotid arteries, abdominal aorta, and the lower extremity segmental Doppler with ankle brachial index measurements. The program was initially developed in Annapolis, MD, and adapted to rural Warren, PA. Between March 2008 and June 2009, a total of 758 screenings were completed. Mild disease was detected in 12.7% of the population, moderate disease in 2.5% of the population, and severe disease in 1.3% of the population; 61.7% of all the participants had atherosclerotic plaques without stenosis and 45.9% of the participants had a history of smoking, 12.1% diabetes, 81.4% dyslipidemia, 58.3% hypertension, and 9.8% heart disease. Conclusion: This model of vascular screening program is an important tool for the detection of vascular disease and preventive health counseling. It detects not only vascular disease but its associated risk factors. Adequate treatment decreases cardiovascular disease mortality. This program, through local sponsorship, is adaptable to the rural community.
Key words: Atherosclerosis, screening, vascular.