American Indian man's awareness of Peripheral Artery Disease causes

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.

Who’s at Risk?

American Indians and people of African descent have the highest rates of PAD in the United States. People with the highest risk are over those over the age of 50, with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and who’ve had a stroke.

four times

Diabetes increases the risk of developing PAD by 4 times, and increases the risk of PAD-related amputation

two times

Blacks have twice the rate of PAD than Caucasians at any given age

African American man staying informed about PAD

About 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.


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

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Dull, cramping pain in the legs, hips or buttocks when you exercise

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Wounds that won’t heal

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Foot coolness

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Numbness or tingling in the legs, feet or toes

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Color changes in your legs

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How to Get 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.

African American woman informed about preventing PAD

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.

Learn how to prevent PAD


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.

Staying healthy to avoid Peripheral Artery Disease
test for PAD can be quick and painless
Woman and doctor talk prevention of Peripheral Artery Disease
Two women discuss finding a heart doctor nearby

Need a Doctor You Can Trust?

They’re out there, and we have a tool to help you find them.

Find a doctor

Resources & Support

We spoke with patients around the country to find out what resources would be most helpful and designed this resource page with your needs in mind.

  • Learn about health conditions and treatments
  • Find a doctor near you
  • Review questions to ask your doctor
  • Get reliable rides to your appointment
  • Understand common medical terms


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.