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What is PAD?

  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (or PAD) affects over 8.5 million people in the United States.
  • PAD is the narrowing or the blockage of the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs.
  • PAD is caused by the accumulation of fatty plaque in the blood vessel walls.
  • PAD leads to decreased blood flow causing severe pain and discomfort when walking.
  • Arterial ulcers (leg wounds) develop as a result of damage to the arteries due to lack of blood flow to tissue.
  • When left untreated, PAD can lead to gangrene and amputations.
  • People with PAD have a higher risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, or stroke.

Early diagnosis can save limbs

  • Do you have leg or foot wounds that are slow to heal?
  • Check for change in color of your feet and ankles.
  • Check for pulse in your feet.
  • Do you have decreased nail and hair growth on your toes, feet, or legs?
  • Do you have leg pain or cramping, especially during exercise or walking?

Diabetes and PAD

  • There are approximately 500,000 diabetics
    in Louisiana
  • Diabetes is a major cause of nontraumatic amputations
  • Diabetes costs Louisiana over $5 BILLION dollars each year (a large part of this expense goes
    toward amputations)

Risk factors for Perphieral Arterial Disease

  • A history of smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Advanced Age
  • High blood pressure                         
  • A family history of PAD
  • High cholesterol