Peripheral vascular disease, abbreviated as PVD, is a condition characterized by obstruction of large arteries, causing the blood supply to reduce significantly. Such a type of condition is also referred to as Peripheral arterial disease.
Intermittent claudication, characterized by pain in leg, experienced while walking, is the classical symptom of peripheral vascular disease. In addition to pain, affected individuals would also experience cramps, weakness and numbness in the area of reduced blood flow .
Other symptoms of PVD include the following:
The following tests are used for diagnosis of PVD:
Treatment of PVD depends on severity of the condition: The following methods would be employed:
Prognosis of peripheral vascular disease depends on the severity of the condition. This is measured with the help of a tool, named as the Ankle brachial pressure index . Individuals with PVD are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular events, and subsequent mortality. However, if the disease is diagnosed in the preliminary stages, then adopting certain measures can effectively help in controlling the condition.
Development of atherosclerosis is the primary cause of PVD. Although, atherosclerosis majorly affects the heart functioning; it can also significantly affect the blood supply to the limbs, giving rise to PVD. Along with atherosclerosis, other causative factors, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia and obesity, also predispose an individual to develop peripheral vascular disease.
Peripheral vascular disease affects about 10 – 12% of general population. Individuals, above 70 years of age, are more prone to contract this disease condition. It has been estimated that, 20% of individuals at this age develop PVD. It has also been reported that, 1 in every 3 diabetic individuals contract PVD .
In the US, PVD strikes about 10 million Americans. In spite of high prevalence rates and associated complications, only 25% of individuals affected by PVD seek medical intervention.
The basic principle involved in the development of peripheral vascular disease, is the narrowing of the arteries, which causes significant reduction in the blood supply to the extremities. Such a kind of phenomenon occurs as a result of several predisposing factors, which include atherosclerosis, smoking, hypertension and diabetes.
It has been reported that, individuals who smoke, are 2 – 3 times at increased risk of developing peripheral arterial disease, concerning the lower extremities. Certain statistics also point towards the fact that, diabetes alone was the major cause of limb amputation in about 70% of cases [4, 5].
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the key to prevent development of PVD. The following measures can be adopted, to stay healthy, and keep PVD at bay :
It is a type of circulation disorder, gravely affecting the blood vessels, not including the heart and brain. PVD can turn into a life threatening condition, which can lead to amputation of the affected limb. In more severe conditions, it can also cause death of the individual. Disease conditions, such as atherosclerosis, embolism, stenosis and thrombus formation, can increase the risk of development of PVD .