September is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness month. The goal of Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness Month is to increase the public’s awareness about the risks of PAD as well as its relationships with other vascular diseases.

What are the Risk Factors of Peripheral Artery Disease?

There are various factors that could put you at risk for PAD. Your risk increases if you:

•Smoke or are a former smoker – The risk of developing PAD is up to four times higher for those who smoke or have a history of smoking.

•Are over the age of 50 – One in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 has PAD.

•Suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease.

•Have high blood pressure.

•Have diabetes – One in every three people over the age of 50 with diabetes is likely to have PAD.

•Have high cholesterol.

•Have a family history – If your father has or had PAD, another vascular disease, or a heart attack or stroke, you have an increased risk of developing peripheral arterial disease.

•Are African American – African Americans have a 2.4 times greater chance of having a major amputation when compared with Caucasians.

If you believe you are at risk of PAD, call HCHS Heart and Vascular Center. HCHS also offers Project Life, a wellness screening program that covers cardiac and vascular screens, including one that can detect PAD. Call: 641-843-5500 for more information.