The Connection between CAD and PAD
It’s tempting to focus only on one thing at a time, especially when it comes to a medical issue. However, there are many interrelated conditions that are important to pay attention to for your long-term health — such as the connection between coronary artery disease (CAD) and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
If a person has blockage in the heart arteries, there may be blockages in the legs as well, according to Dr. John Phillips, an interventional cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio. If you have CAD, there is a 15 to 20% likelihood that you also have PAD.
If you’ve experienced a heart attack or have CAD while experiencing PAD symptoms, ask your doctor to check for PAD.
How to Assess for Additional Blockages
You can see if you’re at risk for PAD by taking our Stand Against Amputation Symptom quiz. Then share the results with your cardiologist at your next appointment. After discussing risk factors and potential symptoms, your doctor can assess for PAD. This is done by a simple, noninvasive test is called an ankle-brachial index (ABI) and it’s covered by most insurance plans. This is one of the best methods to determine if you have PAD and the severity of the condition.
Don’t Delay — Advocate for Your Health
If you have CAD, it may feel difficult to face the fact that you could have other artery blockages. However, getting an ABI test and the appropriate follow-up care can make a major difference in your life. Early detection can help stop PAD from getting worse — and potentially save a toe or leg from amputation.17
“Heart attacks scare people,” says Dr. Phillips. “There isn’t enough awareness of PAD. But early detection is so important. It’s not curable yet, but we can help patients live more active lives with the appropriate medical therapy.”
For more information
Learn more about PAD on our Take a Stand Against Amputation® website. If you need help finding a doctor or getting a second opinion, use the Find a Doctor tool to help explore the PAD treatment options available to you.