Peripheral artery disease is a common condition in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the arms or legs. This may cause leg pain when walking, a weak pulse, numbness, sores on toes and a skin colour change on the legs. PAD is usually a sign of a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries.
(Caro et al 2005)
Morbidity and mortality were examined in 16,440 patients diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease in Saskatchewan, Canada. 49% died within 5.9 years of diagnosis. Annual number of deaths from vascular disease is more than respiratory disease, diabetes and dementia put together.
The results of this study reinforce the call for attention to peripheral arterial disease as a serious diagnosis with important implications for patient management.