Updated January 2022
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when fatty deposits form in arteries that are outside of your heart. These fatty deposits can restrict the flow of blood. PAD often occurs in the legs. In severe cases, it can lead to amputation. People who have PAD are at greater risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
PAD can strike anyone, but it is most common in older people. PAD affects up to 20% of people over the age of 70.4 Smoking increases the risk of PAD. Heavy smokers are four times more likely than nonsmokers to develop PAD.3 On average, smokers are diagnosed with PAD 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.3
Risk factors include:3
Most people with PAD don’t show any warning signs. Only one quarter to one third of people who are diagnosed with PAD have any symptoms at all.3 People who do have symptoms often mistake them for signs of aging.
Links for additional details on PAD:
Remember, every patient is different, and your doctor knows you best. After reading the information on this site, make an appointment to talk to your doctor to help you make the right decision about any treatments or procedures.