April is Minority Health Month

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the biggest disease you’ve never heard of. For Minority Health Month, we are working to raise awareness of the disease, especially its impact on African American, Hispanic and Native American communities.

  • African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in the West are twice as likely to have a PAD-related amputation as Caucasians.47
  • Minority populations are often admitted to the hospital for PAD when they are sicker and more likely on an emergency basis.47

Some research studies suggest this disparity may in part be that African Americans may not feel the symptoms of PAD as early as Caucasians, therefore they do not seek treatment as early.49

Many people don’t even recognize they have the disease. They may think their leg pain and trouble walking are just signs of getting older.

Common risk factors for PAD are:

Increasing age
Diabetes mellitus
Kidney disease
Hypertension
Smoking

If you have any of these risk factors and have experienced symptoms of PAD, learn more on this website and talk to a health care professional about your condition.

Find a Doctor – If you’re looking for a second opinion, we recommend that you talk to a PAD specialist. Click the button to find a PAD specialist near you.

What you should know:

  • Left untreated, PAD can lead to amputation.

  • PAD causes arteries in the legs to become narrow and hardened, limiting blood flow to the legs and feet.

  • The disease affects up to 18 million people – more than cancer, stroke and congestive heart failure.41-43

  • People with the worst form of PAD, known as critical limb ischemia or CLI are at risk for an amputation.

Avoid Amputation

Take a Stand: catching PAD early is very important. Talk to your doctor or consult a PAD specialist to discuss your options. Not all physicians are PAD specialists. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion.

Talk to Your Doctor

Do you have pain in your leg that won’t go away or a wound that won’t heal? Were you recently diagnosed with peripheral artery disease (PAD)? Has a doctor told you that you might need an amputation? Left untreated, PAD can lead to amputation. The good news: There are many treatment options for PAD. They could improve your quality of life, reduce pain, improve walking ability, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, and save legs, feet or toes from amputation.

If you’re concerned about your condition and ready to take control of your health, don’t wait. Talk to a health care professional. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion with a doctor who has experience treating patients with PAD.

Take the Symptom Quiz

Click below to take the interactive Symptom Quiz. You can print your answers out and take them with you to a doctor to help guide your conversation about PAD.

Dr. Bryan T. Fisher Tri-Star Centennial Medical Center, Nashville, TN