Peripheral vascular disease (PVD), also known as peripheral artery disease (PAD), is a slow and progressive circulation disorder. It may involve disease in any of the blood vessels outside of the heart and diseases of the lymph vessels - the arteries, veins, or lymphatic vessels. Organs supplied by these vessels such as the brain, heart, and legs, may not receive adequate blood flow for ordinary function. However, the legs and feet are most commonly affected, thus the name peripheral vascular disease.
Conditions associated with PVD that affect the veins include deep vein thrombosis (DVT), varicose veins, and chronic venous insufficiency. Lymphedema is an example of PVD that affects the lymphatic vessels.
An individual with PVD also has an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and transient ischemic attack (TIA).
PVD affects eight to 12 million people in the United States. An estimated 5% of adults in the United States over age 50 have PVD. Among adults age 65 and older, 12-20% may have PVD.
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