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Atherosclerosis is a condition caused by the progressive accumulation of fatty material (atheroma) within the artery wall, resulting in artery hardening and narrowing. As a result, the areas of the body supplied by the weakened arteries obtain less nutrition. Depending where which arteries are affected, the signs and symptoms can vary. When the arteries supplying blood to the heart become obstructed, angina or a heart attack may occur. When the arteries supplying blood to the legs become blocked, peripheral artery disease occurs. It becomes more common as people grow older, and by the age of 70, about 20% of the population has peripheral artery disease. Surprisingly, in the early stages of the condition, almost 75% of people with the disorder have no symptoms at all. Peripheral artery disease increases the risk of heart attack or stroke by six to seven times. The importance of diagnosis cannot be overstated. Our website provides info on Advanced Heart And Vascular Of Central New Jersey
When walking or exercising, the most common symptom is pain in the calf muscles, thighs, or buttocks. Slowing down assists in the dissipation of pain. As the disease progresses, the pain can become chronic. The skin on the leg can become shiny and change colour. Ulcers in the feet and toes are fairly common. Gangrene of the leg may develop as the disease progresses.
Smokers are 20 times more likely than non-smokers to develop peripheral artery disease. A high-fat diet, lack of physical activity, high blood pressure, and diabetes all accelerate diabetes. A combination of a typical history and a clinical examination can aid in diagnosis. The Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) is a very useful screening tool for detecting people with peripheral artery disease. It is the ratio of blood pressure measured at the ankle to that measured at the shoulder. To determine the location and severity of the artery narrowing, additional tests such as a doppler ultrasound scan and an angiogram of the leg arteries may be required.