What Is Peripheral Artery Disease and What Causes It?

Q:
What is peripheral artery disease and what causes it?

A:
Definition

Peripheral artery disease, also called peripheral arterial disease, is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. Peripheral artery disease is likely to be a sign of a more widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries (atherosclerosis) which may reduce blood flow to your heart and brain, as well as your legs.

Causes

Peripheral artery disease is commonly caused by atherosclerosis, in which fatty deposits (plaques) build up in your artery walls and reduce blood flow. When atherosclerosis occurs in the arteries supplying blood to your limbs, it causes peripheral artery disease. The causes of peripheral artery disease can also be blood vessel inflammation, injury to your limbs, unusual anatomy of your ligaments or muscles, or radiation exposure.

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