Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.)

Frequently Asked Questions

7. How can P.A.D. be prevented?

Taking action to control your risk factors can help prevent or delay P.A.D. and its complications. Know your family history of health problems related to P.A.D. If you or someone in your family has the disease, be sure to tell your doctor.

Controlling risk factors for P.A.D. includes doing the following.

  • If you smoke, quit. Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit smoking. You can also call a smoking quitline. The National Cancer Institute’s Smoking Quitline at (877) 44U-QUIT or (877) 448-7848 is available between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. You can also call (800) QUIT-NOW or (800) 784-8669 to be connected with free resources about quitting and counseling information in your state.
  • Get regular exercise and physical activity. For physical activities geared to older adults, see “Exercises to Try.”
  • Be screened for P.A.D. A simple office test, called an ankle-brachial index or ABI, can help determine whether you have P.A.D.
  • Lose weight if you’re overweight or obese. Work with your doctor to create a reasonable weight-loss plan.

These lifestyle changes can reduce your risk for P.A.D. They can also help prevent and control conditions that can be associated with P.A.D., such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and stroke.

Two examples of healthy eating plans are Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH).