Have you ever had to cut short a day of shopping or golfing because of severe leg pain?
It could be a symptom of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD is often caused by atherosclerosis (fatty deposits build up on your artery walls) which reduce blood flow to your limbs.
Who gets PAD?
Factors that increase your risk of developing PAD include:
- Obesity (a body mass index over 30)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Increasing age, especially over 65
- Over age 50 with risk factors for atherosclerosis
- A family history of PAD, heart disease or stroke
When should I suspect PAD?
However, Up to 40% of people with PAD will not experience symptoms (National Clinical Guideline centre, 2012), so you may benefit from a PAD screening if you are:
- Discomfort, pain or cramping in the feet, legs or buttock while walking or doing activity but relieved with rest. ( most common symptom)
- Unexplained foot or leg pain
- Wounds on the feet and legs that don’t heal, or that heal very slowly
Like most health conditions, PAD is more treatable when it is detected early. And treating PAD also reduce the risk of developing stroke and heart attack..
- Over age 65
- Over age 50 and have a history of diabetes or smoking
- Under age 50 and have diabetes and other PAD risk factors, such as obesity or high blood pressure