How Serious is PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease)?
At the Cardiovascular Labs of America, one of the most common diseases we treat is Peripheral Artery Disease. PAD occurs when the arteries in the limbs become constricted by plaque build up, causing symptoms that include feeling cold, muscle pain and ulcers. Over 10 million Americans suffer from PAD, and one in three diabetics over the age of 50 is likely to have PAD.
Most Americans ignore treatment for PAD because they underestimate the severity of the disease, but this is a mistake. The plaque build-up inside arteries constricts blood flow to the limbs, robbing them of essential nutrients. This can cause the limb to feel sore, cold, and possibly discolored. What starts as discoloration in the legs and arms could lead to ulcers, gangrene and infection, if left untreated.
PAD should be taken care of as soon as the symptoms start to show. “The earlier we treat our patients with PAD, the easier it is to treat with minimally invasive techniques.” Says CLA’s Cardiologist Gregory Messner, “If PAD is left untreated it can lead to amputation.”
Due specifically to PAD, there are more than 160,000 amputations performed each year in the United States, and in 2015 PAD caused 52,000 deaths worldwide. Many of these amputations were easily preventable with early detection and proactive care.
If you are over the age of 50 and have diabetes, or have a history of smoking, you could be at high risk for PAD. Be sure to look at Cardiovascular Labs of America’s Top 10 Symptoms of PAD post to see if you may already be suffering from Peripheral Artery Disease, or talk to one of our Doctors.
Read Also: What are the Causes of PAD?