If you heard of coronary artery disease (CAD), you might have also heard of its lesser known but no less dangerous counterpart, PAD (or peripheral arterial disease). Although similar, the two diseases are not the same, but they do affect the arteries in a similar manner. Moreover, experts will tell you that usually, people who suffer from one will also have the other.
PAD forms when the thin lining that prevents blood clotting inside the arteries becomes lined with plaque – which is a substance formed from fat deposits and cholesterol, as well as various other compounds. This condition is known as artherosclerosis. When the plaque grows in size, its chemical makeup can also lead to blood clots forming inside the artery and greatly narrowing down the path required for blood to flow. This can lead to high blood pressure and a number of other complications. In extreme cases, it can even lead to heart attack and death.
The risk factors for developing artherosclerosis and PAD include smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, HBP, kidney disease and blood clotting disorders. Also, researchers have found that African Americans and people over the age of 50 are generally more at risk for developing PAD. Lastly, it’s important to note that PAD doesn’t discern between genders, and you’re equally likely to get it whether you’re a man or a woman. If you are in these categories, it is wise to seek the help of peripheral arterial disease treatment doctors to take the necessary steps to help you.