PVD may also be called lower extremity vascular disease or peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
Claudication (pain in the calf, thigh or buttock while walking), pain in the feet with elevation of the legs, and wounds or sores on the feet or legs that do not heal.
Even those with mild disease face an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The leading cause of death in people with PVD is coronary artery disease (the buildup of plaque in the arteries of the heart), resulting in a heart attack. If PVD goes untreated, a patient's foot or leg may have to be amputated.
Yes. PVD shares the same risk factors as heart disease—smoking, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, lack of exercise, and hypertension—which are frequently associated with being overweight or obese.
First, most patients need to make lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating a healthier diet, and exercising more. Some people need medications to help lower cholesterol or blood pressure and control diabetes. In serious cases, patients can be treated with a minimally invasive procedure. A minority require surgery to clean out or bypass the arteries.
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