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How Dangerous Is Peripheral Artery Disease & Is It Contagious?

Peripheral artery disease indicates the diseases of blood vessels, which are present outside of a person’s brain and heart. PAD mainly takes place due to fatty deposits’ buildup in arteries. In some cases, doctors also refer to PAD as a peripheral vascular disease when it involves both veins and arteries. (1)

Whenever you develop the problem of peripheral artery disease to its extremities i.e. usually in legs, they do not get enough flow of blood to meet the demand. This leads to certain symptoms, including mild to severe type of leg pain while walking. Doctors refer to this condition as claudication. (2)

How Dangerous Is Peripheral Artery Disease?

Most of the patients of peripheral artery disease often suffer from atherosclerosis, which is a complicated and generalized problem affecting many arterial beds, including the coronary and peripheral circulation. Furthermore, most of the peripheral artery disease patients have a relatively high incidence related to coronary artery disease, which may be symptomatic or asymptomatic. (4)

The prognosis of peripheral artery disease patients has close relations with the extent and presence of underlying coronary artery disease. When people suffering from peripheral artery disease undergo a major type of vascular surgery, cardiac complications become the prime cause of mortality and perioperative morbidity.

Moreover, such patients indicate a high risk related to long-term and adverse cardiac outcomes. Considering the mentioned points, doctors recommend for aggressive and assessment therapy to overcome the risk factors of atherosclerotic, while suggesting for cardio-protective medicines. (4)

A few of the cardiologists have said that peripheral artery disease is a serious condition and hence, patients should undergo diagnosis and treatment promptly, so that doctors may reduce the risk as soon as possible. The reason is that if the condition remains untreated and undiagnosed, you will suffer from a stroke or heart attack and later on die within only five years.

Along with this, you may experience other severe health consequences. These are discomfort at the time of exertion and subsequent independence loss and muscular pain in the leg area. In rare conditions, arteries may block and cause blood clots, which result in pain while you rest, ulcers in the foot skin area, and amputation. (5)

Is Peripheral Artery Disease Contagious?

There is no evidence about the contagious nature of peripheral artery disease. We all know that atherosclerosis is a common cause of the problem. We can decide whether peripheral artery disease is contagious or not based on the contagious or non-contagious nature of atherosclerosis.

Accordingly, atherosclerosis is not contagious in a conventional way. However, you will find atherosclerosis-related risk factors in the form of lifestyle factors and diet. For instance, if you stay in an area of society, where atherogenic diet and lifestyle prevail, the pressure to have such food items or live in the way may put you at a high risk of atherosclerosis followed by peripheral artery disease. (6)

Peripheral artery disease mainly affects the arteries present in your leg areas. However, in some cases, the problem may affect the arteries responsible to supply blood to different body organs or parts from the heart. These include arms, heads, stomach, and kidneys.

If you are a peripheral artery disease patient, you should consult your doctor immediately and go for regular appointment to treat your underlying condition of atherosclerosis. Treatment options here may intend to reduce the progress of your disease and its complications. (3)


Peripheral artery disease is one of the dangerous conditions when left untreated, patients may suffer from a heart attack and stroke shortly. A few patients may even need amputation of limbs because of peripheral artery disease in its severe form. On the other side, we can say that peripheral artery disease is not a contagious one, as atherosclerosis (a major cause of PAD) is not a contagious problem.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 6, 2020

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