Leg Artery Disease (PVD)
What Is It?
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when a fatty material called plaque builds up on the inside walls of the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the head, internal organs, and limbs. PAD is also known as atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease.
Also Known As: Arm Artery Disease, Circulation Problems, Leg Artery Disease
- Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when a fatty material called plaque builds up on the inside walls of the arteries that carry blood to the limbs.
- PAD is a common, yet serious disease.
- PAD affects 8 to 12 million people in the United States. An estimated 5 percent of U.S. adults over age 50 have PAD. Among adults age 65 and older, 12 to 20 percent may have PAD.
- PAD can impair physical health and diminish a person's ability to walk.
- People with PAD have an increased risk for heart attack.
- Early diagnosis and treatment of PAD are important to prevent disability and save lives.
- PAD screening for individuals at high risk is very important.
- PAD can be treated with lifestyle changes, medicines, and/or surgery and special procedures.
- Treatment often includes making long-lasting lifestyle changes, including quitting smoking, lowering high blood pressure, lowering high cholesterol levels, and lowering blood glucose levels if you are diabetic.
- PAD treatment may stop the disease from progressing and reduce the risk of heart attack, heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
- Surgery may be necessary to supply more blood flow to the leg if a person has severe symptoms.