Cardiovascular disease is a common ailment in the United States. In fact, heart disease in all its forms remains the number one cause of mortality in the nation. Peripheral vascular disease is a fairly common subcategory of this issue that affects millions of people annually. Recent statistics indicate that well over 8 million American adults suffer from peripheral vascular disease.
What is peripheral vascular disease and what are the relevant risk factors for developing this condition? How do your age and gender affect your risk of getting this ailment? How can a comprehensive medical screening from Life Line Screening be helpful to those wanting to avoid peripheral vascular disease? The information presented below has been designed to better answer these important questions.
What is Peripheral Vascular Disease?
Also called peripheral artery disease or PAD, this condition is similar to heart disease in some respects. However, PAD affects the more distant blood vessels outside of the immediate area of the heart. When a person suffers from peripheral vascular disease, the blood vessels in their arms, legs, stomach, or kidneys become narrowed from damage.
What are the Risk Factors for Suffering From Peripheral Vascular Disease?
There are several factors that can increase an individual’s risk of developing PAD. Although these are important factors to keep in mind, having some or all of them does not guarantee that a problem will develop. Common risk factors associated with peripheral vascular disease are as follows:
- Increased Age: Adults over the age of 60 are at the highest risk of developing peripheral vascular disease.
- Gender: As with all other heart-related illness, males are at a slightly higher risk than females. That fact considered, heart-related illness of all types still affects millions of women each year.
- Smoking: Smoking drastically increases the chances of developing peripheral vascular disease, just as it does with other cardiovascular issues.
- Diabetes: Diabetes, especially if it is poorly controlled, increases a person’s chances of developing PAD.
- High Blood Pressure or Cholesterol Levels: High blood pressure and cholesterol levels are good indicators of a poorly functioning cardiovascular system. They are often precipitating factors that require prompt attention from a medical professional.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Peripheral Vascular Disease?
How would a person know if they have peripheral vascular disease? As with many other cardiovascular illnesses, there are sometimes no warning signs to alert the person to the presence of a serious condition. In fact, this is what makes heart disease of all types so dangerous. With no way to see what is going on inside the body, plaque can be forming for many years in blood vessels that can lead to long-term implications.
When signs and symptoms are present, they can include the following:
- Pain in the legs with walking
- Decreased pulse in the feet
- Muscle atrophy of the lower body
Since it is quite common to have few symptoms in association with PAD, these signs do not need to be present in order to indicate a potentially life-threatening problem. For this reason, preventative care is widely recognized and praised for its ability to detect this issue early.
How Can Peripheral Vascular Disease be Prevented?
For those interested in advice on preventing PAD, the following recommendations should be considered.
- Avoid smoking or using other forms of tobacco.
- Control serious medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
- Avoid Being Overly Sedentary
Being active overall and getting an adequate amount of exercise are both important factors for preventing PAD and controlling its symptoms.
What is Life Line Screening?
Since it can be extremely difficult to be aware of the existence of cardiovascular disease, detecting a problem before it strikes becomes even more important. What is Life Line Screening and what types of preventative tests do they perform that can help to protect against peripheral vascular disease?
Life Line Screening is a privately operated wellness company that is dedicated to saving lives through prevention rather than cure. We have all likely heard the phrase that states how prevention is worth a pound of cure. Knowing that a problem exists before it reaches the point of becoming life-threatening is a much more ideal situation to be in.
Life Line Screening is a professional wellness company that is equipped with some of the most technologically advanced equipment designed to detect dozens of issues before actual symptoms or a threat to life occurs. Life Line Screening utilizes the power of technology in a convenient and comfortable setting to provide the answers that patients need in order to make informed decisions about their long-term health.
Life Line Screening provides some of the following screening tests to enhance each individual’s long-term health care and help provide them with vital facts about how healthy their internal systems currently are. Here are some commonly performed screenings that many people have chosen to take advantage of:
Ultrasound technology has been used for decades as a safe and effective way to see into the body. Ultrasounds offer many benefits to the patient. First of all, they are completely pain-free. Secondly, they can be performed with little to no prep needed. Lastly, they are completely risk-free since they do not require the use of radiation. Ultrasounds can detect the presence of potentially fatal blood clots, narrowed blood vessels, and many other serious health issues.
Fingerstick Blood Testing
Blood testing can alert a physician to the possible presence of many serious health concerns. However, many patients find the procedure painful and daunting. Life Line Screening uses a simply fingerstick blood test, requiring very little blood and minimal discomfort. The answers provided by in-depth blood panels can be life-saving in many cases.
EKG tests are also commonly performed by the professional staff at Life Line Screening. EKG tests are painless and require little to no prep. These types of tests can alert a medical professional to the presence of an irregular heartbeat or other cardiovascular issues that require prompt attention.
Peripheral Arterial Disease Screening
Screening for peripheral vascular disease is as important as checking for issues relating directly to the heart. Screening for PAD requires a cuff similar to a blood pressure cuff to be placed around your ankles, so the test requires the removal of socks and shoes. This test can detect the systolic blood pressure in your lower limbs, the reading of which is a good indicator of your overall cardiovascular health.
Many other types of screenings can also be performed by the professional and highly-trained staff employed by Life Line Screening.
Peripheral vascular disease affects at least 8 million American adults. Although this condition is very common due to the prevalence of heart disease in our country, the effects of suffering from it can be disastrous. Despite modern medical advancements and technology, heart disease in all its forms remains the number one killer in the United States. This scary fact is a clear reminder of the importance of preventative health screenings such as the type that Life Line Screening offers.