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Risk Factors

Some conditions and habits raise your chance of developing P.A.D. Your risk increases if you:

  • Are over the age of 50.
  • Smoke or used to smoke. Those who smoke or have a history of smoking have up to four times greater risk of developing P.A.D.
  • Have diabetes. One in every three people over the age of 50 with diabetes is likely to have P.A.D.
  • Have high blood pressure. Also called hypertension, high blood pressure raises the risk of developing plaque in the arteries.
  • Have high blood cholesterol. Excess cholesterol and fat in your blood contribute to the formation of plaque in the arteries, reducing or blocking blood flow to your heart, brain, or limbs.
  • Have a personal history of vascular disease, heart attack, or stroke. If you have heart disease, you have a one in three chance of also having P.A.D.
  • Are African American. African Americans are more than twice as likely to have P.A.D. as their white counterparts.

photo of man from the P.A.D. risk factors videoWatch a brief video about P.A.D. risk factors
(43 seconds)


Photo[Walking a dog]
Most people with P.A.D. have one or more conditions or habits that raise the risk for heart disease."