PAD May Be Increasing Your Risk for Heart Attack and Stroke

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Like one in 20 Americans 50 years of age or older, you may be at increased risk for heart attack or stroke due to peripheral artery disease (PAD). And what is especially frightening -- you may not even know it.

PAD develops when arteries in your limbs, especially your legs, become clogged with fatty deposits. Just like blockages to the heart, this can cause serious consequences. While PAD can cause can cause symptoms like leg pain, many times it doesn’t. That’s why it’s important to know if you may be at risk, and take preventive measures to increase your likelihood of staying healthy.

7 Factors That Increase PAD Risk

  • You smoke or used to smoke. Smoking or a history of smoking, increases your risk of developing PAD 10-fold.
  • You have diabetes. One in every three people over the age of 50 with diabetes is likely to have PAD.
  • You have high blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, raises the risk of PAD and other conditions including heart disease.
  • You have high blood cholesterol. Excess cholesterol and fat in the blood contributes to plaque forming in the arteries, reducing or blocking blood flow to your heart, brain or limbs.
  • You have a personal history of vascular disease, heart attack or stroke. If you have heart disease, you have a one in three chance of also having PAD.
  • You are African American. African Americans are more than twice as likely to have PAD as their white counterparts.

To better determine your risk of PAD, take our online risk assessment and talk with your doctor. Timely detection and treatment can improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of potentially serious complications.

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John D. Affuso, MD

John D. Affuso, MD, is a vascular surgeon with LG Health Physicians Surgical Group

Education: A graduate of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Dr. Affuso’s areas of expertise include: cerebrovascular disease, endovascular aneurysm repair, peripheral vascular disease, and varicose veins. He takes pleasure in being able to offer the latest treatments to his patients and facilitate their journeys to being well.

Call: 717-544-3626

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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