Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)


Looking for Information on Peripheral Artery Disease?

Learn about this condition, including what it is, who could be at risk, symptoms, how it is diagnosed, and available treatments


To learn about PAD, click on the sections you want to explore or know more about:

What is PAD and what are its symptoms?

Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Who is at risk
of PAD?

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Risk Factors

What is PAD and what are its symptoms?

Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Who is at risk
of PAD?

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Risk Factors

How is PAD diagnosed and treated?

How is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Diagnosed

More information
on PAD

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Resources

What is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)?

  • PAD is a common condition affecting the legs1,2
  • In PAD, a build-up of fatty deposits (plaque) in the leg arteries restricts blood flow from the heart to the legs1,2
  • When blood flow is reduced, this can lead to leg pain when walking or climbing stairs because your leg muscles aren't getting enough oxygen2,3
  • PAD can also prevent sores on the feet or legs from healing, which can develop into areas of dead tissue (gangrene) that ultimately may lead to amputation of the foot or leg4,5
What is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

PAD Patient Brochure

In this Brochure You Will Find More Detailed Information About PAD.

What are the Symptoms of PAD?

PAD symptoms don't present the same way in every patient4,5

  • In lower leg PAD, symptoms may include muscle fatigue, cramping, and/or pain in the legs during exercises that stop after resting, which is called “intermittent claudication”4,5
  • Symptoms of an advanced form of PAD include pain in the toes or feet even while resting, sores on the toes, feet, or legs that don't heal, and leg numbness or weakness4,5

Most patients have no PAD symptoms and are not aware that they have PAD6

Who is at Risk of PAD?

There are certain conditions, known as risk factors, that may contribute to the development of peripheral artery disease (PAD). The risk factors for PAD include:5,7,8

Who is at Risk for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Being over 65 years of age

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Age Risk Factor

Having a family history of PAD

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Family Risk Factor

People Under 65 Years Old Can Also Develop PAD if they have risk factors for the build-up of plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis), such as:5,7,8


Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Smoking Risk Factor

High Blood Pressure

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) High Blood Pressure Risk Factor

High Cholesterol

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) High Cholesterol Pressure Risk Factor


Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Diabetes Risk Factor


Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Obesity Risk Factor

Left untreated, PAD can worsen and increase the risk of developing serious long-term cardiovascular complications1,5,9,10

How is PAD Diagnosed?

To diagnose PAD, a physical examination is performed. If PAD is suspected, this may be followed by a specific blood pressure measurement.

Who is at Risk for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Physical Examination

  • May include an examination of the head, neck, skin, nerves, muscles, heart, lungs, abdomen, lower legs, and feet5
  • Measurement of blood pressure, body temperature, breathing, and heart rate5
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Obesity Risk Factor

Ankle Brachial Index (ABI)

When PAD is suspected, an ABI compares the blood pressure in the legs to the arm and is a useful way of confirming PAD symptoms, especially when they are atypical or absent.1,5,11

Ankle Brachial Index for Peripheral Artery Disease Diagnosis

Timely diagnosis and treatment of PAD is very important to prevent amputation and development of serious cardiovascular complications5

How is PAD Treated?

PAD can be managed through a combination of lifestyle changes and various treatments5,10

Lifestyle changes

including quitting smoking, adapting diet, and practicing regular exercise

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Obesity Risk Factor


such as medications to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Obesity Risk Factor

Minimal invasive procedures

such as inserting a small tube (stent) to open blood vessels

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Obesity Risk Factor


Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Obesity Risk Factor

Patients can support their PAD treatment, which may influence outcomes, by paying attention to lifestyle modifications and following medication regimens prescribed by their doctor

Your Doctor

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition affecting the blood vessels in the legs that commonly presents in people over the age of 65, or younger for those with existing cardiovascular risk factors. If left untreated, PAD can lead to serious long-term complications. If diagnosed early and treatment started quickly, the risk of these complications can be reduced significantly.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Obesity Risk Factor

If you have any questions or concerns about PAD, or think that you or someone you know may be at risk of PAD, do not hesitate to contact your doctor for further information


The information provided is not intended for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice.
Consult with a physician or qualified healthcare provider for appropriate medical advice.
This material is intended for use with healthcare professionals only.


  1. Hirsch AT, et al. JAMA. 2001; 286(11): 1317-24.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) 27 Sep 2021. Accessed May 2022.
  3. Cleveland Clinic. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). 19 January 2022. Accessed May 2022.
  4. Shu J, Santulli G. Atherosclerosis. 2018; 275: 379-81.
  5. Gerhard-Herman MD, et al. Circulation. 2017; 135(12): e686-7256.
  6. Virani SS, et al. Circulation. 2021; 143(8): e254-743.
  7. Steffen LM, et al. Diabetes Spectr. 2008; 21(3): 171-7.
  8. Hirsch AT, et al. Circulation. 2006; 113(11): e463-654.
  9. Norgren L, et al. J Vasc Surg. 2007; 45(1): S5-S67.
  10. Criqui MH, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008; 52(21): 1736-42.
  11. Wu A, et al. J Am Heart Assoc. 2017; 6(1): e004519.

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