San Rafael, Calif. — November 17, 2020 — Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), known as a “heart attack of the legs” is one of the most debilitating diseases resulting in hundreds of thousands of amputations and death each year. The Way To My Heart, global patient advocacy 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life for these patients, honored The Sage Group’s Co-founder & President Mary L. Yost as its first Lifetime Achievement Award winner for nearly two decades raising awareness of PAD through her research, including its impact on patients and the economy, which has helped improve patient outcomes.
Mary Yost is a world renowned analyst whose research has led to significant strides in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and long-term management of PAD, characterized by a narrowing of mainly the leg arteries due to plaque build-up leading to excruciating pain and can result in amputation. PAD was rarely on the radar before Mary Yost and The Sage Group began publishing their research demonstrating its widespread prevalence and economic impact. PAD symptoms of leg pain and cramping were brushed off as neuropathy, old age, or simply poor circulation, with amputation at the point being the only viable option for advanced stage complications such as gangrene and sepsis due to lack of early diagnosis and treatment.
The timing of this announcement is significant as November is Diabetes Awareness Month and 1 in 3 diabetes over age 50 has PAD since uncontrolled sugar in the blood can damage arteries leading to plaque build-up. The Sage Group’s Diabetes Method, which is believed to offer the most accurate estimates of the number of people with PAD, has shown that more than 21 million Americans have PAD, which has led to increased medical attention and innovation. The Sage Group’s most recent costs & consequences analysis of diagnosis and treatment options for PAD has also assisted in the global movement to reduce the nearly 200,000 needless PAD-related amputations, 60% of which are triggered by non-healing Diabetic Ulcers. Prior to this analysis, the economic and cost aspects of PAD and Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI), late stage PAD, had been largely ignored, putting this critical type of research significantly behind that found on coronary disease – and yet three in 5 heart attack sufferers have PAD.
“Mary Yost is unmatched in her efforts to raise awareness for PAD and its impact on patients and the economy. Before Mary Yost and The Sage Group’s Research, PAD was disturbingly overlooked and so many more people were losing life & limb.”
- Kym McNicholas
The Way To My Heart
Mary Yost and The Sage Group’s life & limb saving research has been presented in three dozen publications and has been presented by Mary Yost as Faculty at dozens of Continuing Medical Education (CME) meetings, helping to educate those in the medical field about this increasing global epidemic due to the increasing prevalence of Diabetes and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. The Sage Group’s research is widely cited by physicians, hospital administrators, innovators, and government officials in justifying increased medical and innovator attention for PAD.
Some notable accomplishments:
- Developed the Diabetes Method, a population-based projection model to estimate the prevalence of PAD and critical limb ischemia (CLI).
- Created a dataset of U.S. lower limb endovascular, surgical and amputation procedure data by vascular territory for the years 1997-2012.
- Developed U.S. estimates of the macroeconomic cost of PAD, CLI, major amputation and minor amputation.
- Developed CLI prevalence and incidence estimates for 2015-2030 for the U.S.
- Published the first U.S. population-based PAD estimates since those in the 2001 PARTNERS study.
- Published the first U.S. population-based CLI estimates as well as CLI estimates by disease severity.
- Believed to have published the first and only PAD and CLI estimates for Mexico, China, India, Japan, major countries of Western Europe and South America.
“While there’s still much work to do in continuing to raise awareness of PAD and reduce amputations, Mary’s research has played an integral role in expediting efforts in the last two decades and is continuing to influence new efforts and additional resources being dedicated to helping patients with PAD live a longer, better quality of life. For her efforts and that of The Sage Group thus far and commitment to continue to save life & limb going forward is why she deserves the Lifetime Achievement Award for PAD Awareness.”
About The Way To My Heart:
The Way To My Heart’s mission is to educate, engage, & empower patients to take responsibility for their healthcare so they live a better quality of life. Their programs provide real-time, scalable, advocacy and support for patients Programs and available resources lead to earlier testing/diagnosis, more productive & satisfying conversations between patients and physicians, and long-term adherence to lifestyle modification.
About The Sage Group LLC:
The Sage Group is a research and consulting firm, specializing in peripheral artery disease (PAD) and Chronic Venous Disease (CVD). Clients include over 50 medical device, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and stem cell companies. Available at:
For more information, contact:
The Way To My Heart.org