You might not realize that narrowing of the blood vessels happens throughout the body. When it happens in the legs, feet, arms, brain, stomach, and kidneys, it can lead to gangrene, amputation, stroke, high blood pressure, and kidney failure. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is more serious and pervasive than I thought.
For six Saturdays every February and March, 500 interested older adults trek to the campus to attend UC Davis Mini-Medical School to hear lectures from the medical school faculty on health and aging topics.
Dr. William C. Pevec, Professor Emeritus in vascular surgery at UC Davis School of Medicine, spoke about “The Arteries of the Lower Extremity: How They Work, How They Fail, and How They are Fixed.”
“Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood.” – National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
The risk factors are the same issues that are cited for so many other health problems:
One in 20 Americans over 50 have PAD but it can occur in younger people. It seems that women have some premenopausal protection but catch up after age 70.