Peripheral Artery Disease is the hardening of arteries in the arms and legs due to plaque build up, and is one of the most prevalent diseases treated here at Cardiovascular Labs of America. As previously posted the Top 10 Symptoms of PAD, but what exactly causes the plaque build-up at the root of Peripheral Artery Disease? To answer this, we will examine the types of patients who typically suffer from PAD. If you fall into any of the following categories, you might be at a higher risk.
Causes of PAD
The factors that lead to Peripheral Artery Disease could be as simple as being overweight or living a sedentary lifestyle. Patients over 50 years old are typically at the highest risk of PAD, with the risk increasing further as the age increases.
The single highest cause of Peripheral Artery Disease is smoking; and more specifically, tobacco use. Smokers account for 80% of PAD sufferers and are three times more likely to have Peripheral Artery Disease than Coronary Artery Disease. Even former smokers and second hand smokers can still be at risk. The longer you smoke the higher your likelihood of PAD increases.
Diabetes is also a strong factor in developing PAD. Patients with diabetes are between two to four times more likely to develop PAD than average. The probability of developing PAD increases with the amount of time a patient has been diabetic, as well as with the severity of the diabetes.
Read Also: What is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)?
You could also be at risk if you have high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, also known as “hypertension”. High blood pressure combined with PAD also increases the symptoms of muscle pain or leg cramps associated with PAD symptoms. Even if you don’t fall into any of these categories, CLA Cardiologist Gregory Messner still cautions patients to be aware: “There are so many causes to PAD. Even if you aren’t overweight, don’t have high blood pressure, or smoke, you still could be at risk. I tell my patients you can change your pants but your can’t change your genes.”
If you have symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease, the Cardiovascular Labs of America urge you to seek treatment at one of our facilities. The sooner PAD is diagnosed, the easier it can be treated, and the sooner you can get back to using your legs to the fullest.