Who has Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)?
Approximately 18 million U.S. citizens have PAD and of these patients 2 million suffer from critical limb ischemia (CLI), the most severe and deadly form of the disease that increases the risks of limb loss and mortality.
However, studies suggest only 25% – 50% of the population with PAD is aware that they have the condition.
The quality of life for patients with PAD is significantly worse than the general population. The physical burden of PAD is comparable to other types of cardiovascular disease.
Without diagnosis and proper treatment, the outlook for PAD patients is grim. Unless successful treatment occurs, the 6-month mortality rate is 20% and the amputation rate is 40%. At 5 years, the all-cause mortality rate of 70% exceeds that of colorectal cancer, breast cancer, stroke and coronary artery disease. 75% of the PAD deaths are due to cardiovascular disease.
Who is at risk?
A recent study of over 51,500 individuals found that smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension are more strongly associated with PAD than with coronary heart disease.
There is considerable overlap between PAD and other chronic diseases. PAD patients often also suffer from coronary artery disease (CAD) and cerebrovascular disease (CBVD):
- Approximately 50% of patients with PAD have CBVD
- 60-90% of patients with PAD have CAD
Key risk factors for PAD are:
- Age: Individuals 50 or over
- Smoking history: Smoking is more closely related to developing PAD than any other risk factor.
- Family and personal history: Individuals with a history of vascular disease, heart attack, or stroke are at high risk.
- Chronic Disease: Individuals with existing health conditions including diabetes, high blood cholesterol, and high blood pressure are at greater risk. Diabetic patients in particular are at a very high risk for developing CLI: 60% to 80% of those with CLI also have diabetes.
- Renal insufficiency: Individuals living with kidney disease are considered high risk. 57% of end-stage renal dialysis (ESRD) patients require PAD interventional procedures.
Lower extremity peripheral PAD is most prevalent in the Medicare population and is associated with high rates of myocardial infarction, stroke, amputation, and death.
Meet Our Patients
Meet Angela Mullins. Few of us expect to have our legs amputated, especially at the very young age of 21. Unfortunately for Angela, this was almost a reality after an arteriogram revealed significant blockage in both her right and left legs. On the day before Angela’s leg was scheduled to be amputated, her mom intervened. Click here to see her story.
Meet Gertrude Campbell. Gertrude Campbell is a trailblazer. She was the first African-American woman to work in her community post office, later becoming the first black Postmaster in Starkville, Mississippi. All of this changed in 2012 when she suddenly began feeling piercing pain in her left leg. Having been asymptomatic for years, Gertrude, like so many peripheral artery disease (PAD) patients before her, was feeling the abrupt and relentless pain of her disease. Click here to see her story.
Meet Mary Simmons. For more than a decade Mary Simmons lived with unbearable pains in both her right and left lower legs. After two vascular interventions, she is experiencing minimal pain and is very optimistic about the future! Click here to see her story.
Meet Monsignor Ken Greig. Monsignor Ken Greig led a healthy, active life as a priest in his local church until the winter of 2014 when he developed severe pain in his right thigh. After undergoing an atherectomy, he has returned to his daily routine and is able to work without any discomfort. Click here to see his story.