How Blood Pressure and PAD are Related

Blood Pressure Range Guideline

Blood pressure is one of the vital signs used to assess your health and can be an indication of when something is wrong. It measures the force of circulating blood against the walls of the arteries. 

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the pressure is increased even at rest. This condition can be dangerous and put you at risk for other medical illnesses, including peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Blood pressure is calculated by two numbers. The first is called the systolic blood pressure and indicates the pressure in the arteries when your heart beats. The second number is known as the diastolic blood pressure, which is the pressure in your arteries between beats.

To know if your blood pressure is in a healthy range, it’s important to understand what classifies as normal, elevated, or low. Below are blood pressure levels, according to the CDC:

  • Normal: Systolic is less than 120 mm Hg and diastolic is less than 80 mm Hg. This is what doctors are referring to by saying, “120 over 80,” when they take your blood pressure.
  • Elevated: Systolic is between 120 mm Hg and 129 mm Hg with diastolic of less than 80 mm Hg.
  • Hypertension: Systolic is 130 mm Hg or higher and diastolic is 80 mm Hg or higher.

When measuring your blood pressure at home, you should check it at different times of the day and on different days while at rest. 

If either number is consistently out of the normal range, even if the other is normal, you should see your doctor. Consistently high blood pressure could increase your risk of developing PAD. It is important to seek treatment as early as possible to prevent the condition from worsening.


How are Peripheral Artery Disease and High Blood Pressure Connected?

Many patients suffer from both high blood pressure and PAD. Between 35% and 55% of PAD sufferers also present with hypertension. Hypertension, which is classified as blood pressure of 130 over 80 mm Hg or higher, is a risk factor for vascular conditions, including PAD.

High blood pressure can weaken and damage your arteries. According to the American Heart Association, scientists believe plaque begins to build up when an artery’s inner lining is damaged. As plaque builds up, the walls of the artery thicken and narrow, reducing blood flow. This process, called atherosclerosis, is the primary cause of PAD.

Risks Associated with High Blood Pressure and PAD

One of the most common conditions that patients with PAD also suffer from is hypertension. Up to 80% of patients diagnosed with PAD have high blood pressure. Patients with hypertension and PAD are at an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

Managing your blood pressure can mitigate this risk. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle modifications like regular exercise or eating a healthy diet to help lower your blood pressure. However, the best management of PAD and high blood pressure is seeking a diagnosis from a vascular doctor, who can provide personalized treatment options based on your condition.

Treatment Options for PAD

If you have been diagnosed with PAD, treatment options are available and may help prevent progression of the disease and alleviate symptoms. Angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure that widens blocked arteries affecting peripheries. An interventional radiologist guides a tiny catheter into the affected artery where a balloon is inserted to compress the plaque in the arterial wall. In some cases, the vascular specialist may insert a wire mesh stent to hold the artery open in a procedure called a stent placement angioplasty

Another option is atherectomy, which is a minimally invasive treatment that uses a catheter with a rotating tip to scrape plaque off the arterial walls. 

Your vascular specialist will discuss treatment options with you to determine which is the best choice for your unique situation. 

Schedule a Consultation with USA Vascular Team Today

Having high blood pressure puts you at an increased risk for PAD, but we want you to know there’s treatment available. Schedule a consultation with a vascular specialist or give us a call at 888.773.2193 to explore treatment options. Our centers are conveniently located throughout the country to help you get the care you need close to home.



Timely detection and treatment of PAD can improve the quality of your life; help you keep your independence and mobility; and reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, leg amputation, and even death.