The number of adults with peripheral artery disease (PAD) is expected to increase significantly over the next several decades as the American population ages.
PAD is a disease of the peripheral arteries, most commonly in the pelvis and legs. In cases of PAD, plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs and limbs. Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries, limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body. Peripheral arterial disease normally affects the arteries in the legs, but it also can affect the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys and stomach.
People with peripheral arterial disease have four to five times more risk of heart attack or stroke and, when left untreated, PAD can lead to gangrene and amputation.