If I have peripheral artery disease, what are my risks for a heart attack?

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Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition where blockages are present in the arteries that supply blood to the legs, feet, and (sometimes) arms. While these blockages can cause pain and, if untreated, can in some cases lead to limb amputation, they are also a warning sign that your life may be at risk. According to the American Heart Association, people with PAD are four to five times more at risk for heart attacks and strokes, and most patients with PAD die from a heart attack or stroke. That’s because build-up of a fatty substance called plaque in the arteries affects the entire cardiovascular system. If you have plaque in the arteries in one part of your body - for example, your legs – then you probably have it in other organs, such as your heart. So it’s very important to identify the symptoms and treat cardiovascular disease in all its forms as early as possible. This may reduce your risk of a heart attack, stroke, limb amputation, or kidney failure down the road. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.