What is the importance of peripheral artery disease (poor circulation in the legs)?
Peripheral Artery disease (PVD), blockage of arteries causing poor circulation, is a common cause of disability and a predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. There are 3 types: Type 1 disease: affects @ 10-15% of patients with PVD and is limited to the aorta ( main artery in the abdomen) and common iliacs ( in the legs). The risk factors are younger men and middle aged women who are heavy smokers or who have hyperlipidemia( high cholesterol). Type 2 disease: ( 25% of patients) involves the aorta and common iliac and external iliac arteries. Type 3 disease: (60-70% of patients) involves the aorta and iliacs, femoral,popliteal, and tibial arteries. Risk factors for type 2 and 3 are: older age, male gender, diabetes, hypertension. hypercholesterolemia. Symptoms may include: erectile dysfunction and claudication – pain, numbness or weakness in the calves, thighs, or buttucks produced by walking and completely relieved after rest.