While millions of Americans are living with peripheral artery disease (PAD), many don't know it, which means they:
There are many reasons why patients may not know they have PAD:
Who's at risk for PAD?
The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association have established guidelines to help better identify people who might have PAD or be at risk of developing it. You are more likely to have PAD if you are 50 or older and have risk factors for atherosclerosis, including:
Other factors that make it more likely you have PAD include:
African Americans are especially likely to develop PAD. This may be, in part, due to the fact that this group also tends to have higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure that can raise the risk of PAD. Also, women with PAD may have less common symptoms and may be diagnosed later.
If you suspect or know that you or someone else has PAD, be your own best advocate. Speak up and act. Doing so can help protect your heart, too.