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Friday, October 30, 2009

P.A.D. - Take steps to learn about Peripheral Arterial Disease

PAD (peripheral arterial disease) means clogged arteries in your legs. It raises your risk for heart attack and stroke.
PAD develops when your arteries become clogged with plaque-fattty deposits that limit blood flow to your legs
Just like clogged arteries in the heart, clogged arteries in the legs mean you are at higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Symptoms of PAD: fatigue, heaviness cramping or pain in the leg muscles during activity that goes away with rest
Other symptoms of PAD: leg or foot pain that disturbs sleep and/or sores/wounds/ulcers on the toes/feet/legs that are slow to heal
Risk Factors for PAD:
  • age > 50
  • African American
  • current or ex-tobacco use
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Personal history of vascular disease, heart attack or stroke
Questions for your Health Care Provider:
  1. Does my medical history raise my risk for PAD?
  2. Do I need to do anything about my blood glucose, blood pressure or cholesterol?
  3. Which screening tests or exams are right for me?
  4. If I have PAD, what steps should I take to treat it?
  5. What steps can I take to reduce my risks for heart attack and stroke?
  6. What can I do to quit smoking? 

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