Vascular disease is a condition that affects the arteries and veins, thereby affecting blood flow through the body. This can result in organs or other body parts such as the heart or even arms and legs being damaged due to decreased or completely blocked blood flow5.
Two of the most common vascular diseases are CAD and PAD1. To learn more about the causes, treatment and risks of vascular disease, visit the What is Vascular Disease page here.
CAD and PAD are caused by atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of fatty substances called plaque in the arteries. Atherosclerosis can cause blocked blood flow and limited oxygen supply to vital organs. This increases the risk of life-threatening problems such as heart attack, stroke and amputation9. To learn more about atherosclerosis, visit the What is Vascular Disease page here.
For both CAD and PAD, symptoms often do not present themselves until a serious vascular event occurs2,4. Because of this, it is important to be mindful of the various risks that could lead to developing one of these conditions. Please visit the What is Vascular Disease page to learn more about these CAD and PAD can be diagnosed with a variety of tests14,16.
Plaque cannot be reduced once it has developed in the arteries. However, with the appropriate medications and lifestyle changes, you can prevent its progression and protect yourself from further damage or events9.
The current standard of treatment for CAD and PAD include lifestyle changes, prescription medication and sometimes surgery14,16. Visit the What is CAD and What is PAD pages for more information on what these include for each disease.
Vascular diseases can, in certain cases, be prevented if appropriate measures are taken to reduce your risk. These include a healthy diet, regular exercise, abstinence from smoking and stress reduction. However, in some cases, people are genetically inclined to develop a vascular disease based on their family history9.
If you are over the age of 40 and feel you may be at increased risk of CAD and PAD, or already have these conditions, ask your doctor if you are doing all that you can to protect your vascular health.
If you are over the age of 40 and feel you may be at increased risk of CAD and PAD, or already have these conditions, it is important to visit your doctor as much as you need to ensure you are doing all that you can to protect your vascular health.
Generally, the risks of developing CAD and PAD are similar. It is important to understand that if you have been diagnosed with one vascular disease you are likely to be at higher risk of having another17. Therefore, you should monitor your vascular health and speak to your doctor to ensure you are doing all you can to reduce your risk of further events.
Science and medicine in vascular health are moving at a fast pace in an area called vascular protection. Scientists are exploring how hazards can be further lowered for people at risk, and the results of these studies hold interest for patients and doctors alike.