Peripheral Artery Disease
Do you have leg pain or trouble walking? These problems may be signs of a serious circulation problem. Help is out there – stay informed and learn how to stay healthy.
What is Peripheral Artery Disease?
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a disease of the blood vessels in areas outside your heart. This serious circulation problem affects arteries that carry blood to your arms and legs. You may also hear it called peripheral vascular disease, or PVD.
Who’s at Risk for Peripheral Artery Disease?
American Indians and people of African descent have the highest rates of PAD in the United States. People with the highest risk of PAD are over the age of 50, with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and who’ve had a stroke.
Diabetes increases the risk of developing PAD by 4 times, and increases the risk of PAD-related amputation1
Blacks have twice the rate of PAD than Caucasians at any given age2
Manage Your Risk Factors
You may be at an increased risk for certain disease states due to your race, ethnicity and gender – but these factors shouldn’t stand in the way to receiving appropriate care. You can protect family’s health, starting with learning the lifestyle changes that lowers risks the most.
Peripheral Artery Disease Symptoms
Symptoms, such as pain while walking, can be a sign of having peripheral artery disease. But people with PAD can also be symptom-free. This is why it’s important to learn all you can about your personal risk level.
What to watch for
Dull, cramping pain in the legs, hips or buttocks when you exercise
Wounds that won’t heal
Numbness or tingling in the legs, feet or toes
Color changes in your legs
How Peripheral Artery Disease Is Diagnosed
Check your risk. Could you be at risk for PAD? It’s important to find a doctor who takes the time to listen to you and who explains all options to address your medical needs. The results from this assessment can set the stage for a productive conversation with your healthcare team.
Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment
Treatment for PAD depends on how severe the disease is. So, it can be a big help to catch it early. Your doctor may recommend exercise or medications. Or your doctor may recommend a procedure to treat the blocked arteries to help blood flow freely again.
Resources & Research
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1 American heart Association (2019). Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2019 update
2 Shu, J. Santulli, G. (2018). Update on peripheral artery disease: epidemiology and evidence-based facts. Atherosclerosis.