Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is disease of any blood vessel that is not part of the heart or brain. PAD is caused by deposits of fatty material in arteries of the legs. Since arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to the cells of the body, a reduction in blood flow can cause organ failure.
PAD is usually caused by a gradual buildup of plaque called
that happens within the arteries. Other causes include blood clots or embolisms, congenital heart disease, and inflammation of the blood vessels called vasculitis.
PAD can be hereditary. You also may get PAD if you are overweight or
obese, or have
high cholesterol. Unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, eating a high-fat diet, and not getting enough exercise lead to PAD.
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