Additional Info

Risk & Prevention

A major risk factor for PVD/PAD is smoking. Other risk factors include age, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Having a family history of PVD/PAD, heart disease or stroke may also increase your risk.

The best way to prevent PVD/PAD is by making healthy lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking, eating a heart-healthy diet, getting regular exercise and keeping an eye on your cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure. Following any prescribed treatment plans for other heart conditions may lower your risk. Talk to your Orlando Health cardiology team about the preventive measures that are right for you.


Often you will not know you have a blockage in an artery in an extremity, because many people don’t have symptoms. Symptoms from blockages in your leg arteries can range from mild to severe leg pain to complete loss of circulation and the beginning of gangrene. Warning signs may include:
  • Pain from simple movement
  • Inability to sleep
  • Swelling
  • Sores/ulcers that do not heal
  • Skin color
  • Loss of circulation
  • Gangrene

If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your Orlando Health cardiologist or peripheral vascular specialist right away.