The Main Risk Factors for Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral arterial disease is a common problem affecting millions of people worldwide. It is a condition where the arteries in your legs and feet become narrowed, which can cause pain and loss of movement in your legs. In recent years, the cases of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) have increased dramatically. Treatment for peripheral arterial disease Coconut Creek depends on how severe your symptoms are and how much support you need from caregivers and family members.

There are many risk factors for PAD. So, it is essential to understand what they are so you can work with your doctor to prevent this disease. The main risk factors for the peripheral arterial disease include:

High blood pressure

High blood pressure is one of the most common risk factors for peripheral arterial disease. It is estimated that high blood pressure affects more than 80 million Americans, and it is the leading cause of stroke in adults aged 65 or older. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop other health problems like heart attacks, heart disease, kidney failure, and strokes.


Diabetes is another risk factor for peripheral arterial disease because it can damage your arteries’ walls and increase the risk of clots forming. Studies have shown that people with diabetes are almost four times more likely to develop peripheral arterial disease than those without diabetes.


Obesity is another risk factor for peripheral arterial disease because it causes fatty deposits around your arteries’ walls (the plaque). That can lead to narrowing and blockages in your arteries, which can cause pain and loss of movement in your legs — symptoms of peripheral arterial disease.


Our arteries gradually become less elastic and stiffer as we age, making it harder for them to expand or contract when blood flows through them properly. As a result, there is an increased risk of PAD becoming more severe over time.

Family history

People with a family history of PAD are more likely to develop it than those who don’t have a family history of it. People with a first-degree relative (i.e., parent, sibling) with PAD have up to a three-fold increased risk of developing PAD themselves compared to those without a family history of the disease. It means that if you have one parent or sibling with PAD, you are at an increased risk of developing PAD yourself.


Smoking increases your risk of developing PAD by increasing oxidative stress in your blood vessels. Also, smoking damages the endothelium and hinders blood flow through these cells, further increasing your risk of developing PAD.

High cholesterol levels

High cholesterol levels are another significant risk factor for developing PAD. High cholesterol levels can reduce the effectiveness of blood flow through arteries, making them stiff and prone to clogging up with plaque deposits (atherosclerosis).

PAD can happen to anyone at any age. It makes you more likely to have heart attacks and strokes, which are severe conditions. Symptoms of the peripheral arterial disease include chest pain, lightheadedness, pain and numbness in your hands and feet, shortness of breath, and dizziness. If you are experiencing these symptoms and other symptoms of PAD, contact South Florida Vascular Associates and talk to a specialist about interventional vascular radiology procedures suitable for your condition.

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