Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.) occurs when arteries in the legs become narrowed or clogged with plaque (cholesterol), reducing blood flow to the legs. P.A.D. can lead to leg pain when walking, disability and even amputation. Blocked leg arteries can be a red flag that other arteries, including those in the heart and brain, may also be blocked – increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Understanding and treating P.A.D. begins by first learning the risk factors for the disease. Unfortunately, many Americans show no symptoms for this silent disease yet up to 120,000 limbs are amputated every year due to poor blood circulation.
The chance of having P.A.D. increases as you get older. People over age 50 have a higher risk for P.A.D., but the risk is increased if you:
Many people with P.A.D. do not have obvious symptoms. But some people with the disease may have: