Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Epidemiology
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a poorly recognized but major risk to public health around the world. Let’s take a look at the epidemiology of PAD, populations that are at risk, and how the issue can be addressed.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) has grown into a significant global crisis, causing debilitating symptoms and even early death in populations around the world. The occurrence of PAD increases progressively as we age, with seniors making up the majority of PAD cases.
According to a study published in The Lancet Global Health, an estimated 200 million cases of PAD were diagnosed in 2019, a number that is expected to increase in part because of the advancing age of the global population. Moreover, underlying health and lifestyle factors – obesity, diabetes, smoking, and alcohol consumption – could cause a further increase in cases.
From a health and economic standpoint, PAD consumes substantial resources. However, despite its high prevalence and financial burden, PAD has not received significant attention in terms of study, treatment, and management innovations.
Public awareness of PAD in the United States is minimal. One survey found that just over 25% of respondents were familiar with PAD.
Mental Health and PAD
Research suggests that there is a reciprocal relationship between peripheral artery disease and mental health.
People with PAD may be more susceptible to mental health disorders due to the physical and emotional challenges they face. Alternatively, people with pre-existing mental health conditions may be at a higher risk of developing PAD or experiencing worsened symptoms due to factors such as poor lifestyle choices and reduced physical activity.
Several factors contribute to the interrelationship between peripheral artery disease and mental health. Chronic inflammation, which is a hallmark of PAD, has been linked to the development of mental health disorders. Additionally, shared risk factors such as smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle contribute to both conditions.
The presence of one condition can negatively impact the management and outcomes of the other.
PAD and Seniors
It is estimated that over 8.5 million Americans are affected by PAD. However, many cases go undiagnosed, as symptoms may be mistaken for other age-related ailments or attributed to natural aging.
Early detection and management of PAD are crucial in preventing complications such as ulcers, infections, and even amputations. Lifestyle modifications that can help sufferers overcome PAD symptoms include the following:
- Quitting smoking
- Eating heart-healthy foods
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
In addition to lifestyle changes, medical interventions such as angioplasty or bypass surgery might be necessary for more severe cases of PAD. These treatments restore blood flow to the affected limbs and alleviate symptoms.
PAD and Race
The American Heart Association reports that PAD has a higher prevalence among the Black U.S. population than any other racial category. An estimated one-third of Black adults have an elevated risk of PAD compared to one-fifth of White or Hispanic adults.
Black PAD patients are statistically more likely to undergo PAD-related amputation than patients of other races. Moreover, Black patients experience the highest rate of fatal complications post-amputation.
Cannabis and PAD
New studies have suggested a potential association between cannabis use and an elevated likelihood of developing PAD, even in people who are not otherwise considered at risk.
Cannabis users were recently found to have triple the odds of developing leg artery disease compared to non-users. The research involved analyzing data from over 2.2 million adult participants, out of which approximately 3% reported using cannabis. The study found a significant association between cannabis use and an increased risk of PAD, indicating a possible link between the two.
Texas Endovascular: Providing Effective Treatments for Peripheral Artery Disease
At Texas Endovascular, we recognize the significant impact that peripheral artery disease (PAD) can have on both physical and mental well-being. We understand the challenges and limitations people with PAD may face in their daily lives. That is why we are dedicated to providing effective and minimally invasive treatments to help our patients live healthier and more fulfilling lives.
If you are suffering from PAD-related symptoms, please don’t hesitate to contact our helpful representatives to schedule an evaluation today.