Peripheral Arterial Disease

Your input helps shape an effective treatment plan.

JoAnne M. Foody, MD, FACC, CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, affects 8 million Americans—and many don’t know they have it. But PAD is a very serious condition that has also been linked to heart attack and stroke if it’s not treated.

If you have PAD, blood flow to the arms, legs, kidneys and other vital organs can be limited. Without enough oxygen-rich blood, nerves and tissues in these areas can be injured. That’s why, if you have PAD in your legs, it can make walking very difficult; you might have painful cramping or numbness. The lack of blood in the legs can also make infections more likely. In extreme cases when lack of blood flow has been prolonged, muscles and tissue can die and cause some people to need to have their leg amputated, or surgically removed.

The good news is there are a number of treatments and lifestyle changes that can help manage PAD. By treating it, you can also prevent related heart attack, stroke, leg amputations and death. The more informed and equipped you are to manage PAD, the better you’ll feel. Use this condition center to learn more about PAD. You can keep up with the latest research, find questions to ask your doctor, and get tips to help you feel your best.

Peripheral Arterial Disease News & Events

Despite Lifesaving Benefits, Fewer Women Than Men Get Cardiac Rehab

Mar 09, 2013
Women with coronary artery disease can improve their heart health and reduce their risk of dying from heart disease by attending cardiac rehabilitation.

Blood Pressure Medication Improves Walking Ability in PAD Patients

Feb 21, 2013
A study of Australian patients with peripheral arterial disease finds that ramipril (Altace) can boost mobility and quality of life.

Do Financial Conflicts of Interest Impact Study Results?

Feb 21, 2013
According to a recent study, funding sources and conflicts of interest have no impact on the outcome of medical studies and trials.

Calcium Supplements May Increase Cardiovascular Risk in Men

Feb 19, 2013
While more research is needed, new findings show how calcium supplements could affect heart health in men.

CardioSmart Partners with Hospitals for National Heart Health Screening Day

Feb 14, 2013
CardioSmart is collaborating with hospitals nationwide to offer free heart health screenings to local residents.

American College of Cardiology Spotlights Heart Health Through Fashion

Feb 05, 2013
Live stream the Red Dress Collection Fashion Show and participate in other events for this national heart health awareness movement.
Spirit of the Heart

Spirit of the Heart—Helping Improve Your Community's Heart Health

Jan 29, 2013

Spirit of the Heart events offer heart disease screening and events in underserved communities.

Resources to Help You Compare Treatment Options

Nov 07, 2012
Guidance from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in making health decisions

Family History and Peripheral Artery Disease

Sep 15, 2011

Family history could more than double risk of developing PAD.

Exercise for PAD: Trying it at Home

Feb 02, 2011

Pedometers help increase physical activity and minimize symptoms in patients with peripheral artery disease.

Clogged Leg Arteries Hinder Walking More in Women than Men

Jan 31, 2011

Women with peripheral artery disease are more than twice as likely to lose their ability to walk than men.

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