What is Peripheral Artery Disease?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common disease caused by a buildup of fatty deposits in the blood vessels of the legs.

PAD often results in pain or discomfort caused by decreased blood supply to the leg muscles during physical activity (a symptom called claudication).

Claudication is often described as a cramping or aching in the calf, thigh or buttock that comes on with walking and is relieved by rest.

Managing risk factors for the disease can improve PAD symptoms, and also decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke.

What are the risk factors for peripheral artery disease?

  • Smoking or a history of smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Age 65 or older

This initiative is funded by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.