Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is athersclerosis of the arteries outside of the heart and brain. Most commonly affected arteries include that of the legs and pelvis. PAD becomes more common as we age. PAD places an individual at 4-5 times higher risk of stroke or heart attack (American Heart Association, 2009).
Your provider may order an Ankle-brachial index (ABI) test if you experience symptoms. If this is abnormal, it is most likely that further testing can be done to determine the extent of blockage that exists. This can include ultrasound, CT scan, or even MRA. Early diagnosis and treatment is highly recommended (American Heart Association, 2009).
Treatment includes regular exercise, good control of cholesterol, quitting smoking, and use of certain medications. There are some procedures that can be done including angioplasty or stent placement of the affected artery. Please talk with your cardiology provider regarding your options (American Heart Association, 2009).
For more information, please visit the American Heart Association at http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3020242