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 A disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. (CAD) and Peripheral 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. (Peripheral 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.).
If a person has blockage in the heart Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood to your heart and other parts of your body., 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 procedures don’t require a cut or incision through the skin. Standard eye exams or X-rays are examples of noninvasive procedures. test is called an This is the ratio of the systolic blood pressure (SBP) measured at the ankle to that measured in the arm artery. It is sometimes also called the ankle-arm 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 Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body. 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 To surgically remove all or part of a limb (leg, foot or toe).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.