As part of American Heart Month, INTEGRIS Health would like to raise public awareness of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).

What is Peripheral Artery Disease?

OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 20, 2020) – It’s a disease most have never heard of, but by the year 2050 it’s estimated 19 million Americans will have it. As part of American Heart Month, INTEGRIS Health would like to raise public awareness of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).

“A significant gap exists in the public's awareness and understanding of PAD compared to other similarly, prevalent atherosclerotic conditions, such as heart attack,” says Timothy Daly, M.D., an interventional cardiologist with INTEGRIS Cardiovascular Physicians at INTEGRIS Heart Hospital. “A significant knowledge gap also exists among physicians, resulting in a large number of patients with PAD going undiagnosed.”

PAD is a type of vascular disease, which is a subgroup of cardiovascular disease. Like Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), PAD is also the narrowing of the arteries, but instead of the narrowing being in your heart it is in the arteries that provide blood flow to your legs, arms, stomach and head.

For many, PAD is undiagnosed, asymptomatic or mistaken for something else. If symptoms do present, they can include pain in the legs and/or feet that occur with walking shorter distances than one would expect (called claudication - consider it angina for the legs), cramping of leg muscles which can disturb sleep; sores or wounds on toes, feet, or legs that heal slowly, poorly, or not at all; color changes in the skin of the feet, including paleness or blueness; a lower temperature in one leg compared to the other; poor nail growth and decreased hair growth on toes and legs.

PAD is associated with reduced mobility, limb function and amputation (which has been linked to an increased risk of death). The risk for PAD increases with age and you are at higher risk if you smoke, have diabetes and/or increased cholesterol and blood pressure.

  • One in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 has PAD
  • PAD affects 8 to 12 million people in the United States
  • Most people with PAD do not experience any symptoms

“The good news is that much of the disease can be maintained through risk factor management,” explains Daly. “Things like exercise, diet and medication. But in some cases, there could be the need for stents or other interventions, just like in your heart. Also, a variety of procedures can be performed on the carotid arteries in your neck or abdomen.”

If you think you are at risk for Peripheral Artery Disease or if you have any concerning symptoms, INTEGRIS Health offers a FREE Vascular Screening Program. To qualify, you must meet ONE of the below criteria:

  • Greater than 60 years old
  • Greater than 50 years old with one or more of the following risk factors:
    • High cholesterol
    • High blood pressure
    • Smoker
    • Family history of vascular disease
  • Greater than 40 years old with diabetes

To schedule a screening, call 405-917-3523. Screenings are conducted at the INTEGRIS Community Hospital, located at 1401 S.W. 34th St. in Moore.