Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is one of the most under-diagnosed health conditions in the US and is an important indicator that more serious vascular health conditions may be present in other areas of the body. For this reason, PAD is a significant predictor of heart attack and stroke.
PAD occurs when the arteries in your legs become narrowed with plaque and cannot bring enough blood to your leg and foot. This condition is a complication of atherosclerosis (or hardening of the arteries).
During the first stages of PAD, your arteries still provide enough oxygen to your muscles during rest. However, when you are active, such as when you are walking or climbing stairs, your muscles need more oxygen than the narrowed vessels can supply. As a result, the muscles may cramp or feel tired.
As the disease progresses, you may develop pain in the foot and/or leg at rest due to lack of blood flow. This may result in the loss of a limb due to tissue and muscle death (i.e. gangrene).
Who Needs This Screening?
Anyone with risk factors
Risk Factors For PAD
Family history of peripheral artery disease, heart disease or stroke Age 50+
High blood pressure