Newman Medical News

Identifying the Silent Threat: Understanding Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a debilitating condition characterized by narrowed or blocked arteries, primarily in the legs. Unfortunately, PAD often goes undiagnosed until it reaches advanced stages, posing significant health risks and complications for patients that have this disease. As physicians, it is crucial to be well-informed about the signs and risk factors associated with PAD to facilitate early detection and timely intervention. By recognizing the symptoms and understanding the risk factors, healthcare professionals can play a pivotal role in preventing the progression of this silent threat.

Signs of Peripheral Artery Disease:

  • Leg Pain and Cramping: One of the primary symptoms of PAD is intermittent claudication, characterized by pain, cramping, or aching in the leg muscles during physical activity. This discomfort usually subsides with rest but returns upon resuming activity. The reduced blood flow caused by arterial blockages triggers these symptoms.
  • Numbness or Weakness: PAD can lead to diminished sensation or tingling in the legs or feet. Patients may also experience muscle weakness, making it challenging to walk or perform routine activities.
  • Skin Changes: Look for visible signs such as shiny, thin, or tight skin on the legs or feet. Additionally, patients with PAD might exhibit coolness or pale discoloration in the affected limb due to impaired blood flow.
  • Slow-Healing Wounds: Impaired blood circulation associated with PAD can cause wounds or sores to heal more slowly, especially in the lower extremities. This delay in the healing process increases the risk of infections and other complications.

Risk Factors for Peripheral Artery Disease:

  • Smoking: Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for developing PAD. The harmful chemicals in tobacco contribute to the narrowing and hardening of arteries, accelerating the progression of the disease.
  • Diabetes: Individuals with diabetes are at a significantly higher risk of developing PAD. Persistently high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis and arterial blockages.
  • Hypertension: High blood pressure is a common risk factor for various cardiovascular conditions, including PAD. The increased pressure on arterial walls can contribute to the development of plaque, restricting blood flow.
  • High Cholesterol: Elevated levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and triglycerides can contribute to the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, reducing blood flow and increasing the risk of PAD.
  • Age and Family History: Advancing age is a non-modifiable risk factor for PAD, with individuals over 50 being more susceptible. Additionally, individuals with a family history of PAD or other vascular diseases have a higher likelihood of developing the condition.

Early Detection with Newman Medical ABI Systems: To ensure timely and accurate diagnosis of PAD, physicians can rely on SimpleABI, Newman Medical’s cutting-edge ABI (Ankle-Brachial Index) systems. SimpleABI provides a simple, non-invasive method for assessing peripheral arterial circulation, aiding in the early detection of PAD. With SimpleABI, healthcare professionals can initiate appropriate interventions promptly, preventing further complications. Learn more about simpleABI systems by visiting

Conclusion: Recognizing the signs and risk factors of peripheral artery disease is paramount in identifying the condition at an early stage. As physicians, it is crucial to remain vigilant and proactively screen patients for PAD, especially those who exhibit symptoms or possess known risk factors. Early detection using advanced medical technology, such as Newman Medical’s simpleABI systems, can significantly impact patient outcomes by facilitating timely intervention and preventing the progression of this silent threat. By staying informed and proactive, healthcare professionals can play a pivotal role in improving the lives of individuals affected by PAD.

May 16, 2023 PAD