Question

Heart and Circulatory System

Can peripheral artery disease (PAD) develop in your arms?

A Answers (1)

  • ASCAI answered

    Yes, peripheral artery disease can develop in your arms, but it is rare. PAD is most commonly associated with the legs and feet, although it does include conditions caused by the blockage of blood flow in the blood vessels of both the arms and hands.

     

    Doctors call this form of PAD “upper extremity PAD.” It is much less common than PAD of the legs and feet, estimated to affect about 10 percent of the population. When it does occur, the cause is the same as in the legs and feet:  fatty deposits, called plaques, build up on the inside of the blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the hands and arms.

     

    Whenever blood flow is blocked, whether to your heart, brain, legs, or arms, it deprives the body part of oxygen. If PAD is affecting the arms and hands, you might experience discomfort when working, especially when raising your arms repetitively, such as when hanging laundry on a clothesline or hammering nails above your head.

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