Peripheral Arterial Disease FAQ

What is PAD?

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a serious medical condition that is often not diagnosed. PAD occurs when there is a buildup of cholesterol and plaque in the arteries, (primarily the leg) that causes decreased blood flow to the legs and feet. If not diagnosed and treated, PAD can cause severe health problems that can seriously interfere with quality of life.

What are the most common symptoms of PAD?

  • Slower walking pace
  • Tired legs when walking necessitating rest
  • Cramping in calves and thighs when walking
  • Skin is cool with purple or red discoloration
  • Leg cramping while lying down which improves when standing (rest pain)
  • Non-healing sores on legs, feet or toes
  • Cold, painful extremities

Who is at risk for PAD?

  • Individuals over the age of 70
  • Individuals over the age of 50 with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or who smoke
  • Individuals from a family with a history of vascular disease, heart attack or stroke
  • Individuals who are of African American or Hispanic descent
  • Individuals with chronic kidney disease