Are you at risk?
Are you at risk?
Left untreated, PAD can lead to amputation
Learn about the risk factors
If you’re concerned about peripheral artery diseasePeripheral artery disease (PAD) is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood. (PADPeripheral Artery Disease, a potentially life threatening disease where plaque, like calcium, builds up along blood vessel walls, narrowing the arteries and reducing blood flow to the legs and feet.) but aren’t sure what you can do, start by talking to your doctor about your risk factors for PAD. Click here for a list of questions to help guide your conversation.
Common risk factors include smoking, diabetes(Diabetes mellitus) is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both., aging, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and kidney diseaseA disease that impairs the kidneys’ ability to filter waste products and extra water from the blood.. It’s important to learn more about these risk factors for the disease, but only a health care professional can diagnose you with PAD.
Major risk factors
Smoking is a powerful predictor of PAD37 and an important risk factor for the development of plaque in your arteriesArteries are blood vessels that carry blood to your heart and other parts of your body. (atherosclerosisAtherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body.)19 — a leading cause of heart attack and stroke.
Diabetes is another risk factor that can cause problems in your legs and feet, which might be PAD.221 Patients with PAD and diabetes are more likely to have their lives at risk when compared with healthy individuals.19
Advanced age also is a risk factor of PAD. The older you are, the higher your risk for the disease. One in 20 Americans over age 50 have PAD.8
In addition to their PAD, many people have several other health issues they’re dealing with, such as kidney disease.38 Having this PAD risk factor has been linked to higher rates of advanced stages of PAD, called critical limb ischemiaAlso potentially known as CLI, the most severe and deadly form of peripheral artery disease. (CLI), and amputationTo surgically remove all or part of a limb (leg, foot or toe).25
If you fall into any of these risk categories and are experiencing symptoms of PAD, talk to your health care professional right away. Your condition might be worse than you realize, and the earlier you seek diagnosis and treatment, the better.
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PAD patients who are also living with coronary heart diseaseA disease in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries, which supply blood to your heart muscle.10
Lin knows she needs help, but it has to be her way
Lin stopped trying to hide her painful walking problem a long time ago. And the pain in her leg is so bad at night that her only hope for rest is to sleep in a chair. She wants relief but is worried that her doctor will send her to the hospital.
Lin’s condition could be worse than it appears. She might be suffering from advanced stages of peripheral arteryArteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body. disease (PAD), which is the result of narrowed, hardened arteries in the legs. PAD limits blood flow to the legs and feet, leading to symptoms including severe pain while walking.
If left untreated, things can get rapidly worse. She could develop wounds that won’t heal and the possibility that her disease could lead to having her leg amputatedTo have had all or part of a limb (leg, foot or toe) surgically removed..9
Lin is ready to get treatment, but she’s still wary of being sent to the hospital. The good news is that many minimally invasiveIn minimally invasive surgery, surgeons use a variety of techniques to operate with less injury to the body than with open surgery. In general, it is safer than open surgery and allows you to recover faster and heal with less pain and scarring. endovascularThis means “inside blood vessels.” To perform endovascular procedures, surgeons use special technologies and instruments. These procedures require only a small incision or puncture in an artery or vein. procedures are able to be performed outside a traditional hospital setting — in a PAD specialist’s clinic instead. Lin will appreciate the convenience and comfort of being evaluated and treated in an office or a specialty clinic.
Does this sound familiar? If you have pain while walking, learn more about other symptoms of PAD and share your concerns with a health care professional.
Lin is not an actual patient. Her story is intended to represent part of the population with PAD. Symptoms, treatment options and outcomes may vary.
Talk to Your Doctor
Only a health care professional can diagnose you with PAD. Our Symptom Quiz can help guide the conversation about your treatment options.
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.