PAD Elderly Man with Foot Pain

Understand Your Risk for PAD

There are many people at risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD). It’s a common disease for women and men over the age of 50, affecting an estimated 8.5 million people in the United States. PAD occurs when cholesterol and other fats circulating in the blood collect in the walls of arteries that supply blood to your legs. This buildup of plaque narrows your arteries and often reduces or blocks blood flow. It’s a serious disease that can impact your health, but understanding who is at risk for developing the disease can help you make lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of PAD.

PAD Older Woman Massaging Leg Cramp

Common PAD Risk Factors

There are several risk factors of PAD, including conditions and habits, that may raise your risk of developing the disease. It’s important to be aware of some of the common risk factors to see if you need to get a PAD screening to catch the disease in its early stages. Below are some of the most common PAD risk factors to be aware of as you get older.

Age

Adults over the age of 50 tend to be more at risk of developing peripheral artery disease. As you grow older, especially after 65, you may experience more signs of PAD if the disease progresses. It is important to note that many patients do not have symptoms of PAD, or assume their symptoms are due to aging. You may want to consider a PAD screening if you are over 50, even if you have no prominent symptoms.

Smoking

Smoking is the number one risk factor for PAD. Patients who are heavy smokers, or former smokers, have a very high risk of getting peripheral artery disease and tend to develop it at a relatively earlier age when compared to those who do not smoke. While most patients may not have symptoms until their late 60’s or 70’s, a smoker may start having PAD symptoms in their 50’s.

Diabetes

Diabetic patients are at high risk for developing peripheral artery disease. Studies show that one out of every three adults over 50 with diabetes is likely to have PAD. Patients who are long-term diabetics, particularly insulin-dependent diabetics, are also at a much higher risk of developing the disease. They tend to get PAD in the vessels and arteries of the calves and feet more extensively than other patient groups.

High Blood Pressure & Cholesterol

Patients who have high blood pressure and cholesterol are at risk for developing PAD. High blood pressure (hypertension) raises the risk of plaque building up in the arteries, while high cholesterol and excess fat in your blood may contribute to the formation of plaque in your arteries. Plaque buildup due to high blood pressure and cholesterol can reduce or block the blood flow to your legs, causing PAD. 

Medical History

Patients with a medical history or family history of vascular disease, heart attack, or stroke have a higher risk of developing peripheral artery disease. If you have a history of heart disease, you have a one in three chance of getting PAD in your legs. It’s important to be aware of your family’s past medical history and your own to see if you are at risk for the disease.

Kidney Disease

Certain studies show patients with chronic kidney disease have a higher risk of developing PAD. Patients with chronic kidney disease have similar risk factors to peripheral artery disease, including smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, which makes it easier to develop PAD at the same time. Chronic kidney disease also imposes additional risk factors that can lead to PAD, including hypoalbuminemia and chronic inflammation.

Obesity

Your risk for developing PAD is significantly higher if you are obese (a body mass index over 30). According to The Journal of the American Heart Association, people who are obese are 1.5 times more likely to develop peripheral artery disease. Additionally, obese patients are 3-5 times more likely to advance to critical limb ischemia (CLI), which is one of the most severe stages of PAD that can cause leg pain even while you rest.

Race

Race is a strong risk factor for peripheral artery disease. African Americans are twice as likely to have PAD than Caucasians, Asian Americans, or Hispanics for any given age over 40 years old. Not only are African Americans more likely to develop PAD than other racial groups, but they also tend to present with more severe symptoms and stages of the disease and are more likely to suffer worse outcomes from the disease.

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Who Has the Highest Risk of Developing PAD?

Smokers have up to four times a greater risk of having PAD. Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for peripheral artery disease due to tobacco-containing chemicals that cause inflammation and the blood vessels to narrow. However, below is a list of other patient groups that have the most significant risk of developing the disease.

  • Smokers
  • Diabetics
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Obese patients
  • African Americans
  • Over the age of 50

How to Prevent Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral arterial disease treatment focuses on reducing symptoms and preventing the condition from progressing any further. Generally, lifestyle changes, exercise, and medications for claudication are enough to slow the development of PAD or even reverse the symptoms altogether. Here are some other ways to prevent PAD:

  • Control high blood pressure
  • Eat a low-fat, low-sugar diet
  • Exercise for 30 minutes a day
  • Manage your weight
  • Quit smoking 
  • See your doctor to control you medical conditions such as smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure

Our Vascular Specialists

Our affiliated vascular specialists in NJ and NY specialize in peripheral artery disease treatment. They are committed to providing high-quality care and leading the forefront of the next wave of minimally invasive treatment. When you visit American Endovascular, our team will educate you about peripheral artery disease and answer any questions you may have about your condition.

Our Vascular Centers in NY & NJ

American Endovascular has vascular centers in New York and New Jersey. Each of our centers is equipped with the latest minimally invasive-image guided technology that offers patients streamlined care in an outpatient setting.

Brooklyn, NY
71 Carroll Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
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Queens, NY
28-18 31st Street
Queens, NY 11102
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505 East 116th Street
Harlem, NY 10029
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West Orange, NJ 07052
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Excellent, professional, organized and efficient all best describes the service here.
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Excelente servicio es lo mejor que me a pasado gracias a sus buenos tratamiento ya no tengo dolor
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I had a good experience with my procedure and Dr. Mobley’s follow-up calls are great. I’ve never had a doctor who has been so concerned about following up after a procedure to see how I’m doing and if there are any post-procedure problems I may have experienced (which there aren’t). I’d highly recommend Dr. Mobley.
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23:16 07 Jun 23
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19:19 29 Mar 23
This has been the best medical experience I’ve had in over thirty years. I was nervous to have a procedure after only knowing about my condition a year ago. They made this process so easy for me that I’m in shock that I had no pain, no discomfort thanks to an excellent doctor and professional staff! Thank you all and best of luck to your practice.
Stacey Marius
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14:16 29 Mar 23
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Judith AndersonNeal
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22:12 27 Mar 23
This was the best experience I have had in such a long time and I have had quite a few procedures in the past both in patient and out including the procedure I was currently present for. No other surgeon has been so kind, transparent, and gentle. Not only did he personally come out beforehand to provide me with education on my procedure, but he talked me through every step of the way and made me feel so comfortable and relaxed. Not to mention his amazing staff! Despite being extremely nervous they kept me smiling and laughing throughout the whole process. 10/10 would recommend. Thank you so much guys!!
Riah L.
Riah L.
13:49 22 Mar 23
Excellent bedside manners and the procedure was a breeze.
sen-pei hsia
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04:17 03 Mar 23
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Debra Farmer
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00:16 01 Mar 23
I went with my mom who just had a hip surgery. The whole team was very caring, nice and very professional. I did appreciate that the surgeon took the time to explain to me what was wrong with my mom’s arm and what he did to fix it.
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19:33 22 Feb 23
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Theresa Gaines
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13:25 13 Feb 23
Every thing and the process are being done properly ..Terissa you are very Carey ..thank you so much every body are very polite and very professional.. Thank you so much to Dr.Mobley..God blessed you all .🙏🙏🙏👍
Remigio Ruda
Remigio Ruda
03:28 31 Jan 23
Very knowledgeable, personable and professional. I came to Dr. Mobley to correct another surgeons work and I was pleased with the outcome. There is a Hispanic woman that runs things in the O.R.She is great! The whole staff is wonderful and caring.Highly recommend
Lakesha Kingdom
Lakesha Kingdom
15:57 17 Jan 23
I had a wonderful PA take care of me, & the nurses were very sweet. I was happy with my visit
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19:20 10 Jan 23
Everything always goes well.staff are very caring.
Lillian Rodriguez
Lillian Rodriguez
19:00 11 Dec 22
Excellent Doctor he explains the procedure process so that it is understandable and comfortable for the patient!
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