admin - September 20, 2013
Increased age is accompanied by many great things – from grandchildren, to retirement, to an empty nest and more free time. Unfortunately, it’s also often accompanied by increased risk for serious health problems.
One serious risk linked to increased age is peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD is a build-up of plaque inside the main arteries connected to the heart. This process, called atherosclerosis, can lead to chronic pain, heart disease, and even death.
However, there are ways to prevent serious cases of PAD. The first is to know if you are at risk for the condition. The second is to take advantage of PAD screenings if you are at risk.
Below are six key risk factors the American Heart Association warns can lead to peripheral artery disease:
- High Blood Pressure: This condition often has no symptoms and it can gradually damage your arteries and blood vessels by creating scar tissue that can become clogged with plaque buildup.
- High Cholesterol: Having high cholesterol in your blood is an easy way for plaque buildup to form. This reduces your blood’s ability to flow, which can hurt multiple areas of your body.
- Obesity: A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or higher promotes a higher risk of heart disease and stroke – even without other risk factors.
- Type 2 Diabetes: People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing not only PAD, but many other cardiovascular diseases.
- Cigarettes: Smoking increases a person’s risk for peripheral arterial disease by four times compared to nonsmokers, because smoking has been seen to directly harm the arteries.
- Activity Level: If you’re physically inactive, your risk for heart problems in general increases. Physical activity is essential for optimum heart health.
If you are at risk for peripheral arterial disease, a condition that often shows no symptoms, you may want to consider undergoing a PAD screening from Life Line Screening. The screening is fast, easy and non-invasive, and it may alert you to the condition before it becomes catastrophic and leads to serious pain, disability or other heart conditions.
Learn more about the peripheral arterial screening now.