Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) occurs when peripheral blood vessels-part of the network of arteries in the vascular system that transport blood from the heart throughout the body-become blocked, hardened, and narrowed. This condition, known as atherosclerosis, increases a person’s chances of having a heart attack or stroke. The risk factors for developing PVD include diabetes, obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and a family history of atherosclerosis.
Peripheral Vascular Disease most often affects the legs, but can also occur in the arteries leading to the arms, head, or internal organs. The most common symptoms are leg pain that often occurs when exercising and ceases during rest; numbness, coldness, change of color or loss of hair in the legs or feet; muscle pain in the thighs or lower; paleness, blueness, or weak or absent pulse in a limb; and an abnormal change in the way you walk.