The Vein Institute. The Premier Varicose Vein Treatment Center on the Upper East Side. Click here for vein screening
Skip to main content

Are You at Risk for Peripheral Artery Disease?

First of all, we applaud the fact that you’re reading this blog post, as it means you’re willing to take steps to safeguard your cardiovascular health. And these are steps well worth taking if you consider two things: 1) Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; and 2) 80% of cardiovascular disease is preventable.

Dr. Satjit Bhusri and the team here at Upper East Side Cardiology are going to focus on this second aspect — prevention. We are firm believers in preventive cardiology, and part of this is understanding and addressing your risk factors. 

To that end, we’re going to focus on the risk factors for peripheral artery disease (PAD), which affects 200 million people around the globe, including about 12 million in the United States. 

Peripheral artery disease 101

Let's first take a brief look into what occurs when you have peripheral artery disease. When we discuss peripheral arteries, we’re referring to those blood vessels that deliver oxygen-rich blood to your legs and feet. 

When you have PAD, there are blockages in these arteries that are mostly due to plaque buildup in the blood vessels, a condition known as atherosclerosis. As a result, blood isn’t flowing as freely as we’d like to your lower body.

There are many reasons why we’re concerned about PAD, including these potential complications:

The last item on this list, foot and leg ulcers that take a long time to heal, can lead to gangrene and amputation. As you can see, PAD is a cardiovascular condition that’s best avoided, if possible.

Common risk factors for PAD

Now let’s get to the heart of this discussion — exploring the risk factors associated with PAD. As with many health conditions, there are some rick factors you can change, while others you can do nothing about.

For example, PAD is found in 1 out of 20 Americans over the age of 50, so age is a clear risk factor and one that you have no control over. As well, family history is also a risk factor for PAD.

Still, there are plenty of risk factors for PAD that are well within your control to change, and these are the same risk factors that are linked to most every other type of cardiovascular disease. 

A major risk factor is smoking, as smokers are 3 times more likely to develop PAD than nonsmokers.

Other risk factors include:

So, when we refer to 80% of cardiovascular disease being preventable, it often comes down to quitting smoking, losing weight, exercising more, and eating better. Through diet and exercise alone, you can better control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as tackle those excess pounds.

We put diabetes on the list of risk factors that you can control because you can diligently manage your blood sugar levels to help avoid issues like PAD.

The best way to figure out which steps are best for you is to come see us for an evaluation. We can review your history and collect data about your blood pressure, weight, lipid levels, and more. From there, we can help you come up with an effective prevention plan against peripheral artery disease.

To take charge of your health, we invite you to contact our New York City office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to set up an appointment. You can also call (212) 752-3464.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Will My Varicose Veins Go Away After a While?

Will My Varicose Veins Go Away After a While?

Your once-smooth legs now feature a bulging, ropey vein or two, and you're hoping that this unwelcome arrival will fade away. Unfortunately, once varicose veins form, they’re mostly there to stay unless you get treatment.

Are You at Risk for Coronary Artery Disease?

The most common form of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease, which affects 1 in 20 adults. Do you know whether you’re at risk for this common heart condition?
Telehealth: The Advantages of Telemedicine

Telehealth: The Advantages of Telemedicine

Struggles to get to the clinic? Trying to reduce your exposure to COVID-19, as well as other contagious illnesses, and still need to see your doctor? Telehealth is safe and easy — receive quality care from anywhere.