Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a manifestation of atherosclerosis. It is common and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, yet it often remains undiagnosed, exposing patients to increased risk and inappropriate management. PAD is also the largest single cause of lower limb amputation in the UK.1
The most common symptom of PAD is leg pain while walking, known as intermittent claudication (IC),3 but symptoms can progress to arterial rest pain or even tissue loss.
Risk factors for developing PAD are identical to that of cardiovascular disease. Patients with PAD are much more likely to die from heart attacks or strokes than they are from PAD itself. Therefore, early identification and appropriate risk management will help to reduce mortality and morbidity, improving quality of care.
PAD occurs when the arteries supplying the legs become narrowed or blocked by atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerotic PAD affects approximately a fifth of people over the age of 55 in the Western world, with an estimated prevalence of more than 27 million people in North America and Europe.2