Major Risk Factors
The major risk factors for peripheral artery disease (PAD) include:
- Aging - An estimated 12 to 20 percent of those over age 65 have peripheral artery disease.
- Having any one of a number of other diseases or conditions.
Smoking is the Greatest Risk Factor
Smoking is the greatest risk factor for PAD. Your risk increases four times if you smoke or have a history of smoking. Smokers who develop PAD get symptoms much earlier than non-smokers who develop the condition.
Other Risk Factors
Other risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Family history of PAD
- Excess levels of homocysteine, a protein component that helps build and maintain tissue
- Excess levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation
- African-Americans are more than twice as likely as whites to have PAD