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Peripheral Artery Disease

Circulation Problem Reducing Blood Flow to Limbs

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) affects and estimated 8-12 million Americans. It can increase the risk of  stroke and heart attack.

It is a circulation problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. Your arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body. When the arteries in your legs become blocked, your legs don't get enough oxygen.

Results of PAD

PAD can result in:

  • Pain
  • Sores
  • Sometimes, loss of limbs

Forms of Peripheral Artery Disease


Affects the Arteries

Peripheral artery disease can affect the arteries of the:

Affects the Aorta

A very serious form of PAD affects the aorta, the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. This may result in development of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, an abnormal widening of the aorta that can become weakened and rupture.

Affects the Veins

Another form of PAD, varicose veins, occurs when the superficial veins in the legs become gnarled and enlarged.

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-8800

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