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Risk Factors

Major Risk Factors

The major risk factors for peripheral artery disease (PAD) include:

  • Smoking
  • Aging - an estimated 12 to 20 percent of those over age 65 have peripheral artery disease
  • Having any one of a number of other diseases or conditions

Smoking is the Greatest Risk Factor

Smoking is the greatest risk factor for PAD. Your risk increases four times if you smoke or have a history of smoking. Smokers who develop PAD get symptoms much earlier than non-smokers who develop the condition.

Other Risk Factors

Other risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Family history of PAD
  • Stroke
  • African-Americans are more than twice as likely as whites to have PAD

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215