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Diabetes Standards of Care and Resources for Clinicians and Educators

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is atherosclerosis of arteries to the head, organs, and limbs. PAD manifests most commonly in patients with diabetes as symptoms of leg claudication. If left untreated, PAD can progress to critical leg ischemia that can threaten limb viability. Moreover, PAD is a marker of systemic atherosclerosis, indicating patients are at increased risk for myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and death. Risk factors associated with PAD include older age, cigarette smoking, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and possibly genetic factors.

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