Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a general term for disease of any blood vessel that is not part of the heart or brain. The arterial form, usually referred to as PAD, is caused by deposits of fatty material (atheroma) in arteries of the legs. Since arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to the cells of the body, restriction of this blood flow can cause bodily organs to fail.
This is a potentially serious condition that requires care from your doctor. The sooner PAD is treated, the more favorable the outcome. If you suspect you have this condition, contact your doctor.
PAD is usually caused by a gradual buildup of plaque within the arteries (
). Other causes include blood clots or embolisms, congenital heart disease, and inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis).
PAD can be hereditary. More commonly, you may get PAD if you are overweight or
, or have
high blood pressure
. Unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, eating a high-fat diet, and not exercising enough frequently lead to PAD.
The following factors increase your chance of developing PAD. If you have any of these risk factors, discuss them with your doctor:
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a