More than 8 million Americans have peripheral arterial disease. This condition is caused when leg arteries become clogged with plaque deposits that limit blood flow mainly in the legs. These people are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Vascular specialist Dr. Michael Bacharach at North Central Heart Institute tells us the symptoms and why it's important to find out earlier on if you have PAD.
Dr. Bacharach says, "The symptoms commonly occur with leg discomfort when walking and it's typically relieved with rest. It's not the kind of pain that wakes you up in the night like restless leg syndrome rather exertion in the legs when walking. It's a usually a sign of significant hardening of the arteries. Many who have PAD also have coronary disease, blockage in the neck blood vessels so it's one of the things we look for to try and identify a patient who are at very high risk for both heart attack and strokes."