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Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) contributes to increased risk for myocardial infarction and stroke. 

*Narrowing of arteries which results in reduced blood flow to head, arms, stomach and legs. Usually, affects the arteries in the legs. This causes leg pain while walking.
 
** Painful cramps can be felt in the hips, calves, or thighs. For some , the pain is manageable and subsides after resting. Others experience more severe pain that can even prevent them from walking. 

* Leg numbness and a lower temperature in the lower leg or foot. The reduced blood flow is typical for PAD 

 
*Urgent medical attention is usually recommended by healthcare providers
 
*May be dangerous or life threatening
 
*More than 3 million cases a year in the USA
 

*Treatments can help manage PAD but there is no known cure

 
Requires lab test or imaging or both
 
May last many years or be a lifelong condition
 
CAUSES:  

In PAD, the legs or arms — usually the legs — do not receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This may cause leg pain when walking (claudication) and other symptoms.

PAD is usually a sign of a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis causes narrowing of the arteries that can reduce blood flow in the legs and, sometimes, the arms.

MANAGEMENT

The American Heart Association recommends four important lifestyle changes : following a heart-healthy diet, avoiding tobacco smoke/smoking, staying active and achieving a healthy weight.

Other Resources: 2021_PAD-Infographic_8.5x11_Healogics_cropped.pdf

Author
Paddy Kalish OD, JD and B.Arch

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