Peripheral Vascular Disease

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Doctors call it is "time bomb ticking in your legs." Peripheral Vascular Disease or PVD is a clogging of the arteries in the arms and legs.

Just like clogged arteries in the heart can lead to heart attack, clogging of arteries in the extremities can lead to other fatal conditions such as gangrene and septic infection. If you have hardened arteries or arteriosclerosis in the arteries of your extremities, your likelihood of having clogged arteries in your heart and brain are higher. This means an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

September is National PVD Screening month. Doctors can test for blockage by measuring the pulse and blood pressure in both the arms and the legs.

If blockage is found, more tests will be needed to determine the best way to reduce the blockage. Smoking, having high blood pressure or hypercholesterolemia, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet can increase your risk for PVD.

Free screenings will be held at Sparrow Health Systems for residents over the age of 50. The screenings will be held September 29 and 30. For more information, call 517-332-3500.