June 25, 2009
Today Dr. Kraig Wangsnes, an interventional cardiologist at University Hospital, talks about P.A.D. or peripheral arterial disease.
P.A.D. mostly affects arteries in the legs. They become narrowed or clogged with fat, and hardened plaque. When this happens, the blood flow to the legs and feet is reduced causing pain.
It is a systemic disease, and is the most common symptom of heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. P.A.D. can also affect the heart, brain, and other organs, and lead to kidney failure, heart attacks, and stroke.
Dr. Wangsnes tells us, "Risk factors for pad are almost identical to heart disease, and that would be age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, a strong family history ...you've inherited a predisposition of the disease."
P.A.D. can be treated through lifestyle changes, medicines or endovascular or surgical procedures. Lower extremity P.A.D. affects about eight million Americans.