OHSU

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Dr. John KaufmanAsk the Heart Expert

Question

What is peripheral arterial disease and am I at risk?

Answer

Peripheral arterial disease is a condition in which fatty deposits build up in the arteries outside the heart. These deposits often restrict blood circulation in the legs and cause leg pain during activity. Many people, however, have no symptoms.

People with peripheral arterial disease have a four-to-five times greater risk of heart attack or stroke than those without the disease. You are at greater risk of peripheral artery disease if you:

  • Are over age 50
  • Smoke
  • Are overweight
  • Have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol

The good news: Early diagnosis and treatment

can help improve symptoms and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Talk to your doctor or call OHSU's Knight Cardiovascular Institute at 503 494-1775 to schedule an appointment today.

Ask an OHSU Heart Expert about Peripheral Arterial Disease

This Q&A does not constitute medical advice. For specific medical advice regarding testing, evaluation or diagnosis, consult your healthcare provider or a licensed healthcare professional.