High Blood Pressure and Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
Blood pressure measures the force of blood against artery walls. High blood pressure (hypertension) can damage arteries and put you at risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD is a disease of arteries in the legs. If you have PAD, it’s likely that arteries in other parts of the body are diseased, too. That puts you at high risk of heart attack and other heart diseases. Read on to learn how high blood pressure can lead to PAD and affect your health.
How Can High Blood Pressure Lead to Peripheral Arterial Disease?
High blood pressure promotes plaque formation. Plaque is waxy material made up of cholesterol and other particles that can build up in artery walls. When there is too much plaque, the arteries can become narrowed and restrict blood flow. If high blood pressure isn’t controlled, this makes it more likely for you to develop PAD and other heart problems. But high blood pressure can be controlled with exercise, weight loss, dietary changes, and medication.
What Happens If Blood Pressure Isn’t Controlled?
For every 20 mmHg systolic or 10mmHg diastolic increase in your blood pressure, your risk of death from heart disease or stroke doubles.
If you have diabetes, high blood pressure increases your risk of diabetes complications.
What Happens If Blood Pressure Is Controlled?
Lowering your blood pressure and keeping it low can:
Reduce your risk of stroke by 35 to 40%.
Reduce your risk of heart attack by 20 to 25%.
Reduce your risk of dying of heart disease by 25%.
Reduce your risk of diabetes complications.