News Release

Date: November 19, 2008 

American Heart Association Bestows Award on UC San Diego Pioneer in Peripheral Artery Disease 

 

Little-known condition strongly associated with heart attack and stroke

University of California, San Diego Professor Michael Criqui, M.D., M.P.H., has been awarded the American Heart Association's 2008 Distinguished Achievement Award, sponsored by the AHA's Council on Epidemiology and Prevention. The award, given only once every three years, is presented to an individual who has made substantial professional contributions to the field.

Criqui, a widely respected authority on the incidence and prevention of cardiovascular diseases, received the award at the AHA's recent Scientific Sessions, held in New Orleans.

Michael Criqui, MD, MPH

Michael Criqui, M.D., M.P.H

"I am surprised and deeply gratified by this honor," said Criqui, professor and chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, and professor in the Department of Medicine, at UC San Diego School of Medicine. "The award also belongs to colleagues who have provided much insight and support. I accept this award on behalf of them."

A major focus of Criqui's work is the occurrence, or epidemiology, of peripheral artery disease (PAD). He has written or co-authored many of the seminal papers on PAD, including a 1992 report in the New England Journal of Medicine highlighting the increased mortality risk in PAD patients, and a September 2001 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicating that PAD is more prevalent than previously thought, and is seriously under-treated.

Characterized by clogged arteries and poor circulation in the legs, PAD is now estimated to affect 8 million to 12 million people in the United States, who have at least four times the risk of suffering heart attack or stroke.

"This award from the American Heart Association is in recognition of the excellent work that Dr. Criqui has achieved for more than two decades. We are indeed proud of him," said Ted Ganiats, M.D., professor and interim chair of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. "Peripheral artery disease is a common problem that causes significant disability and is a risk for heart disease. Dr. Criqui's work is critical in our treatment and understanding of patients everywhere."

Criqui is a member of the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center at UC San Diego which unites leaders in the fields of cardiovascular research, cardiology, and cardiothoracic surgery in a comprehensive approach to battle heart disease and stroke, the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Such interdisciplinary cooperation enables more patients to participate in clinical trials and to benefit sooner from new methods of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

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Media Contact: Jackie Carr, 619-543-6163, jcarr@ucsd.edu