According to American Heart Association cholesterol is a waxy substance that comes from your body and food. Excess cholesterol can clog the heart’s blood vessels, but it can also affect the legs, leading to Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). Up to 12 million people in the US have PAD, increasing the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke, Montefiore Medical Center. Research has shown that higher cholesterol level increases the risk of developing Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) and coronary artery disease., American College of Cardiology. The most common symptoms of PAD are cramping, pain or tiredness in the legs or hip muscles while walking and climbing stairs. Typically this pain goes away with rest and return when you walk again. Elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood can also cause damage to the arterial walls leading to the accumulation of cholesterol, fats and calcium in the arterial walls causing these walls to thicken which narrows the artery, reducing blood flow and decreasing oxygen supply. If a blood clot forms and blocks the artery, it can stop the flow of blood and if the supply to the heart muscle is reduced, a heart attack can occur. If the oxygen supply to the brain is cutoff, a stroke can occur and if the oxygen supply to the limbs is reduced, gangrene can occur resulting in tissue death that can lead to limb amputation. According to American Heart Association ; cholesterol level can be affected by your age, gender, family health, history and diet. If high blood cholesterol runs in your family, lifestyle modifications may not be enough to maintain a healthy cholesterol level. At USA Vascular Centers our vascular doctors are specialists in the treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). They believe in improving the quality of life of the patients suffering from this serious vascular disease, increasing their mobility and reducing their risk of developing other serious conditions. All our treatments are minimally invasive and non-surgical yet highly effective. If you are at a higher risk of developing PAD due to higher cholesterol level, smoking or a family history of vascular disease there your hopes of living a longer and healthier life are high with timely detection and treatment of PAD.
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