Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a serious condition that affects the blood flow in the legs and feet. It is caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which can lead to blockages and reduce the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the limbs. PAD is a common condition, affecting around 8.5 million people in the United States, and it is particularly prevalent in the elderly population.
Symptoms of PAD include pain or cramping in the legs or hips, especially during exercise or physical activity, and numbness or tingling in the legs or feet. In severe cases, PAD can lead to amputation of the affected limb.
Risk factors for PAD include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity. Additionally, people over the age of 50, and those with a family history of PAD, are at higher risk.