What is Peripheral Artery Disease?
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), is a hardening of the arteries in which
fatty deposits build up inside the arterial walls. Over time, this creates
obstructions which cause poor blood flow, chronic foot ulcers, and sometimes
deadly blockages to the brain, arms, legs and kidneys.
- Nearly 20% of people over the age of 70 have PAD.
- On average, smokers experience symptoms of PAD 10 years earlier than non-smokers.
- If you're already feeling symptoms of PAD, your arteries may be more
than 60% blocked.
- It's estimated that 1 out of every 3 diabetics over age 50 has PAD.
- If your father had a heart attack before the age of 55, or your mother
had a heart attack before the age of 65, or if either had a stroke, you
are at increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
It is estimated that as many as 20 million Americans are living with PAD,
although many go un-diagnosed, since most people do not know about PAD
and do not experience any typical signs or symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of PAD include:
- Pain, numbness or heaviness in the leg muscles while walking or climbing stairs
- Muscle cramping in the legs or buttocks
- Weak or absent pulses in the legs or feet
- Chronic or slow healing sores or wounds on the toes, feet or legs
- A pale or bluish color to the skin
- A lower temperature in one leg in comparison to the other
- Poor nail growth on the toes
- Decreased hair growth on the legs
- Erectile dysfunction, especially in diabetic men