Peripheral arterial diseasealso known as P.A.D. is a common, yet serious, disease that raises the risk of heart attack and stroke. P.A.D. develops when arteries in your legs become clogged with plaquefatty deposits that limit blood flow to your legs. Just like clogged arteries in the heart, clogged arteries in the legs raise your risk for heart attack or stroke. P.A.D. affects 8 to 12 million people in the United States, especially those over age 50.
P.A.D. does not always cause symptoms, so many people may have P.A.D. and not know it. People who do experience symptoms, such as pain or cramping in the legs, often do not report them, believing they are a natural part of aging or due to another cause.