The prevalence of PAD is more common among older adults, due to the weakening of their vascular
structure and functions. This weakening is caused by longer exposure to cardiovascular disease (CVD)
risk factors such as smoking, family history of vascular conditions, high blood pressure or cholesterol,
diabetes, and age. Plaque buildup in the arteries causes obstruction to normal blood flow, especially to
the lower leg areas. Its prevalence is age dependent, increasing significantly from 9% in 55 – 65 year
olds, to over 47 – 57% in people 70 years or above {1} .

Who Actually Needsa PAD consultation?

You should see a doctor if you:

  • Are 50 years or older, or have diabetes, especially type 2
  • Experience leg pain while exerting yourself, exercising, climbing stairs, or walking
  • Cramping in the thigh, calf, hip, or buttocks
  • Have sores on your feet, toes, or legs that won’t heal
  • Coldness in lower leg or foot
  • Have poor nail and hair growth on legs or feet
  • Have multiple high risk factors such as diabetes, family history of vascular disease, high blood
    pressure, smoking, or high cholestero

If the blood flow to your lower legs is not adequate enough to meet the needs of the resting tissue
metabolism, it may result in ischemia and progression to ulceration. Ischemia in simple terms means
some part of your body is not getting enough blood supply.

In most severe cases, PAD will progress into critical limb ischemia in which the patient feels pain even at
rest due to low blood supply or non-healing ulcers. Such patients are at a higher risk of losing a part of
their leg to amputation.