Peripheral Artery Disease in America
Did you know?
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a condition caused by the narrowing of blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood to the legs, stomach, arms and head. It most commonly affects arteries in the legs. This condition affects about 20% of people over 60 years old.
Symptoms can include: leg pain, numbness or tingling in the legs, changes in skin color on the arms or legs, foot or toe wounds that do not heal or heal slowly, or a decrease in the temperature of the legs or feet. However, many people living with PAD may not experience any of these symptoms.
Like with most disease, the key is early detection. It is important to keep in mind:
- The symptoms of PAD are often mistaken for other conditions
- PAD often goes undiagnosed by healthcare professionals
- PAD puts you at a higher risk of heart attack and stroke
- Left untreated, PAD can lead to more serious conditions, including gangrene, amputation and even death
To reduce your chances of developing PAD:
- Don’t smoke. If you have never smoked, don’t start and if you do smoke, stop now
- Eat a healthy diet. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables every day
- Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes most days of the week
- If you are diabetic, be sure to control your blood sugar levels
- Reduce stress. Find ways to reduce or eliminate stress from your work and personal life
- Lower your cholesterol. Keep cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control
- Get screened. If you’re at risk for vascular disease, your doctor can screen you with a simple and inexpensive Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) test