An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Peripheral arterial disease; PAD; Peripheral vascular disease;
Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a type of atherosclerosis. It occurs when arteries in the limbs (most often the legs) become narrowed by cholesterol-rich material called plaque. Because PAD interferes with circulation, advanced cases increase the risk for gangrene and amputation. Patients with PAD are also at increased risk for heart attacks and strokes.
Risk Factors of PAD
The main risk factors of PAD include:
Many people with PAD do not have symptoms. When symptoms do occur, crampy leg pain (intermittent claudication) is the main symptom. This symptom occurs off and on, usually with exercise, and disappears when at rest. When PAD becomes more severe, symptoms can include:
Treatment for PAD includes both lifestyle measures and medications that help reduce symptoms and prevent disease progression. These include:
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