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Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
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Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)

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HEART & BLOOD

Heart Disease

 

Causes

The most common cause of PAD is atherosclerosis. In atherosclerosis, fatty deposits (plaques) build up along your artery walls and obstruct the flow of blood. This condition is a form of arteriosclerosis, a group of diseases in which the walls of arteries become hard and thick and lose their elasticity.

Atherosclerosis is commonly thought of as affecting the heart, but it can affect arteries anywhere in your body. When it affects the arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle, it can cause chest pain (angina), heart attack or coronary artery disease. When it occurs in the arteries in your neck and brain, it can cause a stroke. And when it occurs in the arteries to your limbs, it causes PAD.

Less commonly, the cause of PAD may be blood clots in your arteries, trauma to your limbs, unusual anatomy of your ligaments or muscles, or infection.

Risk factors

Factors that increase your risk of developing PAD include:

  • Being older than 50

  • Smoking

  • Having diabetes

  • Being overweight

  • Having high blood pressure or a family history of it

  • Having high cholesterol or a family history of it

People who smoke or have diabetes have the greatest risk of complications from PAD — such as tissue death (gangrene) in a leg due to diminished blood flow.

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 01:46 AM